Zonta Club of Yakima Valley
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Zonta Service Dollars at Work in the Community

In the 2009-2010 fiscal year the Zonta Club of Yakima Valley funded YoungLives for support of the monthly club meetings for teen moms - $1,000.

A Young Lives Success Story

There is a core group of teen moms who have consistently come to club all year.  One of them, Jenny (name changed for confidentiality) lives above a downtown coffee shop in a studio apartment with her toddler and infant.  The community bathroom is one floor down; homeless people and drug dealers are on the streets outside her apartment building door.  Jenny gets up at 5:30 each weekday morning to get herself and her children ready for school.  She walks to the transit station at 6:30 a.m. to catch the bus that will take her and her children to Stanton Academy, where she is a junior and her children are in child care.  After school, Jenny walks with her children and other students to the bus stop on Nob Hill for the trip back home.

When Jenny first started coming to club, she was quiet but obviously looking forward to being with everyone there. She was excited to have a break from being a mom, to be able to put her children in a safe child care setting and be just a teenager for an hour or so. While quiet by nature, Jenny would enter into the games whole-heartedly and always had a smile on her face.  As she began to trust the women who helped at club and who mentored other teen moms, Jenny opened up about her own life.  She shared the heartache she felt at having to live on her own as a young mother, the challenges she faced in getting to and from school, and her desire to make something better out of life for herself and her children.

In February, Jenny asked if she could have a mentor.  This was a positive step in that Jenny’s family circumstances have required her to be very independent at an early age.  While being a loving mom, Jenny has obvious needs in learning parenting skills and in preventing another pregnancy. We were able to provide Jenny with a mentor who was very skilled at patiently building trust with Jenny while guiding her and offering her consistent friendship and advice.  Through the encouragement of Jenny’s mentor, she is now pursuing training as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant and is seeking employment for the summer job in a nearby assisted living facility.  Jenny was also encouraged by her mentor to find a better living situation for herself and her children; the result was Jenny’s recent move to a new apartment with a bedroom and a bathroom of her own.  While Jenny has many challenges ahead of her, YoungLives club has become a place for her to receive unconditional love and consistent friendship of older women who nurture her and her children.  Jenny’s children have benefited from the consistent love and care of our childcare volunteers and her mentor as well as the other leaders and mentors in YoungLives.  We have all come to love Jenny and will continue to speak into her life a message of hope for her and her children to have a wonderful future.      

Young Lives recipients Young Lives recipients

Our thanks to the support we received from the greater Yakima community during our 2008 Murder Mystery dinner theatre .. that enabled us to support this great YoungLives program!

Zonta Service Committee

 

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Zonta Club of
Yakima Valley

311 N. 66th Avenue Yakima, Washington 98908