CINCINNATI — Being a teenage mother comes with several challenges, like trying to juggle work, school and taking care of the baby. But thanks to an organization in southwestern Ohio, teen moms are getting the resources they need to overcome those challenges and beyond.
A’Kya Daniels, 19, loves nothing more than spending time with her 2-year-old twins. She works a lot, so she cherishes every moment she can, good and bad.
“Whenever they’re crying or they’re upset or they’re sick, they always want mommy or it’s, ‘where’s mommy’ or just running around looking for me, and I love that the most because that I’m glad they can find that solace in me,” Daniels said.
Almost a year after having the twins, Daniels started coming to Rosemary’s Babies Company. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help teens master the concepts of self-leadership to leave a legacy. It offers workshops and classes for teen parents, emergency services, financial aid and much more.
“They taught me to rephrase my words when I talk to them or just those who aren’t nice or nice instead of saying why you’re bad,” she said.
The past two years at RBC have helped Daniels tremendously, but she says it’s still tough being a teenage mom. She lost her job and her home as she tried to figure out how she would care for her children.
“Whenever your child is sick, you had no one to babysit, you also had to cancel,” she said. “Not only is your child running out of childcare for the day, but you’re also running out of money.”
RBC founder Rosemary Oglesby-Henry understands the needs of teenage mothers like Daniels. She too was a teenage mother and started the organization to help others like her. Since 2017, she has helped over 1,200 teenage moms. Now she hopes to do more by buying a house that will better support teenagers, especially those who are homeless.
“When a teenager comes to us, they can get help with housing, they can get help with emergency resources, they can get help with education, finances and even help for her babies,” Oglesby-Henry said. “So the Holloway house and the resource center will do all of those things.”
If approved, RBC will call the new property Holloway House and Resource Center. Oglesby-Henry said the Cincinnati location was strategically chosen because 35% of the teenage mothers they serve live in Avondale. So far, RBC has raised $1 million through its fundraising campaign to fund renovations. But they will have to raise $2 million more to fund the project. Ultimately, the project will have to be approved by the port authority.
Teen moms like Daniels think this is an amazing project to help others like her and hope more teen parents will use these services and have the support of Oglesby-Henry and her team.
“Not only does she support moms if you need anything,” Daniels said. “She is also a good mentor/therapist, whatever you think. She’s just always there for you.
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