No Kidding

Being a parent is hard work.  When the parent is still a teenager, it makes it even more challenging to take on the responsibility of another life.  The late nights, the expenses, and the worry, can sometimes be forgotten when a baby’s face is all that someone sees. No Kidding is a program that tries to build a bridge between the fantasy and the reality of parenthood. Eileen Huereque from No Kidding talks about the program.   <strong>What is the purpose of No Kidding?</strong> No Kidding “is a powerful, proven program that engages teen parents as peer educators who educate their peers about the rights, responsibilities, and realities of young parenting,” states Aaliyah Noble from Youth Launch.  “Participants in No Kidding receive paid training in child support and paternity law, public speaking and leadership. They also improve job and life skills, join a team of other supportive young parents, and will receive a stipend for the internship.”    <strong>What was your motivation to work with No Kidding?</strong> “I am motivated to work for this program because as a health educator and someone who was a teen parent, I know that becoming a parent at an early age is very hard; especially when you’re a single parent,” adds Eileen.  “I want teens to be aware that becoming a parent is rewarding, but also tough at any age, even more so as a teen. I am motivated because I want teen girls and boys to make informed decisions about their future, and I want them to think about the consequences of becoming a parent before they are ready. I am motivated because I read how this program has changed lives for the better, and how the teen parents in my program strive to do better for themselves and their families.”   <strong>How did the group get started?</strong> “The No Kidding program began during the Fall of 2004 in Austin, Texas, and during the Spring of 2006 in El Paso, Texas,” said Eileen. “The Child Crisis Center of El Paso was selected as the organizing agency to initiate this program. No Kidding is a collaboration … The No Kidding curriculum was adapted from the p.a.p.a (Parenting and Paternity Awareness) curriculum, which was developed by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.”   <strong>What other resources or organizations do you recommend for girls?</strong> YWCA, Planned Parenthood and Communities in Schools.    <strong>Who can join No Kidding?</strong> No Kidding is looking for young parents between the ages of 16-24 who are a responsible parent in the El Paso or Austin, Texas region to serve as peer educators. If you are interested in joining No Kidding or organizing a No Kidding presentation for your class youth group, please call 512-342-0424 or visit the website at <a href=”http://www.youthlaunch.org” target=”_blank”>www.youthlaunch.org</a>  or <a href=”http://www.childcrisiselp.org/nokiddingprog.html” target=”_blank”>www.childcrisiselp.org/nokiddingprog.html</a>.

 

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