For Immediate Release May 29, 2014
Contact: Valerie Martinez, Juliette Funes (909) 445-1001
Lynwood Symposium Galvanizes Pregnant and Parenting Teens to Stay in School
Lynwood, Calif. –Lynwood Unified’s pregnant and parenting teens were galvanized to continue their education and pursue their dreams after hearing inspirational stories from those who have overcome similar challenges during the first Pregnant and Parenting Teen Symposium on May 22.
Lynwood Unified, in partnership with El Nido Family Centers and the City of Lynwood, hosted the event at Bateman Hall to help support, empower and provide resources to these teens.
Spearheaded by LUSD Board President Briseida Gonzalez and Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro, the event centered on encouraging pregnant and parenting teens to continue their pursuits of college and career and connect them with the resources they need to reach their goals.
“We wanted to put this Pregnant and Parenting Teen symposium to provide the necessary resources and support these kids need to succeed in school regardless of their personal challenges,” Gonzalez said. “In spite of everything, they still have dreams and ambitions and our goal is to help them get there.”
Approximately 50 pregnant and parent teens participated in the symposium, which included workshops on stress management, co-parenting and health information, as well as information on the quality education programs and support services critical to removing barriers to school success.
The keynote was delivered by Castro, who had her first child when she was 17 years old.
“I’m one of your teen moms and I am your resource,” Castro said to students. “You may be a teen mom now, but that does not mean you will not be successful and phenomenal women in the future.”
In addition to hearing Castro’s story, the teens listened to others tell anecdotes of their lives as young parents and how they stayed on the path of success.
The event also included a baby shower and college and career resource fair, which featured representatives from Care 1st Health Plan, Job Corps, Hub Cities, Eisner Pediatric, LACOE Health Outreach, Crystal Stairs, Inc., LUSD Adult School, El Camino College Compton Center and First 5 LA’s Welcome Baby program.
“Our District is committed to ensuring that each student receives a quality education that enables them to work toward building a sustainable future for themselves and their children,” said LUSD Superintendent Paul Gothold. “Although statistics link teen pregnancy with dropout rates, we want these students to know that they have the help and resources they need to graduate and pursue their dreams.”
SYMPOSIUM1: Lynwood Unified Board President Briseida Gonzalez poses with LUSD students during the Pregnant and Parenting Teen Symposium held on May 22, 2014 at Bateman Hall. The event was aimed at providing resources and encouragement to pregnant teens in Lynwood.
SYMPOSIUM2: Nohely Zuniga, right, who had her twin boys when she was 15 years old, was part of a panel who spoke to pregnant and parenting teens about her experiences as a single mother and college student. The panel also consisted of teen parent Jennifer Anguiano of El Nido Family Centers, LUSD board member Gary Hardie, Jr., and Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro.
SYMPOSIUM3: Pregnant and parenting teens participate in a resource and college fair held at the symposium, which included representatives from LUSD Adult School and El Camino Compton Center, on May 22, 2014.