Moms Unlimited is a free counseling program that I helped to create in 1997 for young, unmarried pregnant teens in the San Francisco Bay Area. From my volunteer work as a Big Sister, I knew several pregnant teens who yearned to keep their infants, but lacked the basic skills to care for them properly. With help from my mother (a pediatrician), I formed Moms Unlimited as a free resource both during their pregnancies and throughout their difficult first year of parenthood. I raised awareness for the program throughout the Bay Area by making presentations at high schools, college campuses and at typical teen hangouts in the city. I solicited donations from local businesses and women’s groups, who were generous with their time, expertise and money. After a slow start, Moms Unlimited developed a great reputation around the city and we raised over a hundred thousand dollars. After four years of continuous growth, we have 55 volunteers and over 300 pregnant young women participating in the program.
My program succeeded because it provides a valuable service to a traditionally ignored segment of society. Most people agree philosophically that young mothers need emotional support, but no one took the initiative to develop a program aimed especially at teens. I’ve met several wonderful women and babies who got a head start in life because Moms Unlimited listened to their concerns, answered their questions, and validated their stress during diffiicult times. We provide a comprehensive array of services (GED classes, instruction in baby care, nutrition classes, job hunting skills, anger management classes, etc) in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Many of our initial clients finished high school and are now enrolled in college. Several are now volunteers themselves, sharing with others the skills and lessons they learned from us.
While I started Moms Unlimited as a social resource, I also discovered my professional calling. I enjoy working with young mothers and children who need assistance. I plan to pursue a career in social work or psychology, to combine my interest in emotional health with the delivery of practical solutions and human services. Throughout my career, I plan to pursue similar entrepreneurial and volunteer opportunities in the public sector. My commitment to Moms Unlimited enables me to enrich the lives of young women and their children in a unique manner. As a college student, I will share what I learned about creating a non-profit a social enterprise and its positive effect in my community.
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