Wayfinder’s Schools’ Passages Program
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”-Philip Pullman
Storytelling is an age old art; stories can educate, inform and entertain and they provide a means to relay the narratives of our lives and those of others. Stories can also help us process and their telling can be a rite of passage. This is Jasmine’s story.
In her junior year at Woodland High School Jasmine became pregnant. Without daycare for her daughter Savannah, or a driver’s license (much less a vehicle) the hour round-trip to attend school wasn’t logistically possible. Through a friend and then formally through her guidance councilor Jasmine enrolled in the Passages Program at Wayfinder Schools.
Passages Program for teen parents provides individualized instruction to students in their own homes. Students work to complete course work related to academics, parenting and life skills, including everything from social studies and English Language Arts to budgeting, nutrition and child development. This home-based instruction is complemented by monthly life-skills workshops with other young parents and children in the program, as well as service learning work in the community with transportation and childcare provided by Passages staff and volunteers. Service learning work allows students to gain new confidence, community connections and job skills and the regular curriculum of home-based instruction is provided at pace with each students’ need.
In order to complete the Passages Program and graduate with her high school degree Jasmine and her classmates each must design a ‘capstone project’ or ‘Passage’ which addresses or confronts a personal fear, challenge, need, interest or passion in their lives. For Jasmine, it was creating a book telling her own story and stories of other teen mothers around the world.
Through a number of channels including reaching out to her Instagram followers, Jasmine assembled the stories of fourteen young mothers. She asked the participants to share the age at which they had their first child, how their families took the news and whether they were supportive and how motherhood has changed their lives. Jasmine dedicated the book to “all the teen mothers who had the courage to stand in the face of, ‘You can’t’ and say ‘I WILL’.” By completing her Passage and sharing her story, Jasmine hopes people will grasp the variety of experiences teen mothers have and create more understanding.
The Maine Women’s Fund is proud to support the Wayfinders’ Schools Passages Program which has found such great success in helping young parents achieve their life goals.
Posted 05.02.2016 under News and Resources