Prom!

We just had our last YoungLives event of the year…PROM! We’ve gone through New Years to Christmas together and to wrap it up, we all gather together to celebrate the young moms and dads that graduatedValerieDenisePhotos-68. This year the theme was Hollywood, awesome right? All the girls came dressed beautifully ready to party!

From the babies being well taken care of in childcare, to an amazing live band, photo booth with a professional photographer, raffles, dj, and great food served to them, I’m sure the girls felt great to be treated like the queens they all are.

The night started off with the girls walking the red carpet as paparazzi snapped photos of them, which was my favorite part ,seeing how happy they were. Ok, so after the red carpet it was dinner time! The girls were seated and served dinner by youths dressed in all black. How great is that? Taking a break from babies, sitting down and having amazing volunteers cater to you. I helped serve food too, butter to be exact,yes BUTTER for a bit then my heels told me have a seat haha. While having dinner, a band played, Rocky’s Revival and they were amazing. To continue the night, Myrna shared with us that God is our strength and how great it felt being there this year as a mother herself.ValerieDenisePhotos-30

PROM QUEENS! This is the time we honor the girls who have worked hard this year and graduated. Each girl was given a certificate and “prom queen” sash then crowned. After that, we did raffles and there were some pretty cool prizes. One of the girls won 3 tickets to Disneyland, another a custom phone case and much more was given.

To wrap up the night, there was an open candy bar for dessert, my FAVORITE part!!! At the end of the night everybody put on their dancing shoes and danced the night away!!ValerieDenisePhotos-77

 

  • Mass Vincent
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Growing Up As a Teenage Mother

 

“A mother’s love is like an unrivaled forced of nature” -Hotch (criminal minds)

My life on growth as teenage mother… When I was younger, my 7th grade teacher asked my class, “What are your biggest fears?” As she went around the classroom from one student to another, I heard things like: “spiders, heights, clowns and some student even said being broke,” haha. Then she came to me, I told her “I have no fears Mrs. Alexander”. Everybody has fears right? But how was I supposed to tell my teacher my biggest fear turned nightmare haunts me every night? How am I supposed to tell her when I was only 9, I lost all trust in men and now my biggest fear is someone taking that same advantage of my child? Only one year into being a teenager, I became a mother to a child I had no idea how to be a mother to. I had to grow up and become an adult, and parent while my friends enjoyed their teen years. Thankfully I had an amazing woman I called “MOM”. Being a teen parent was a battle I was fighting with myself for 6 years but I am no longer.

Hi, I’m Massa. I’m 21 years old and I have an 8 year old son named Christop

Massa and Chris

Massa and Christopher 2012 YoungLives Photoshoot

her. I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina and no I do not have a southern accent. When I was 16, I lost my mom then I had to pack up and move to California. WOAH, across the country, away from all my friends and I was thinking “how the h*** am I going to survive this sh**”; well that was 2012, 2016 & I’m still alive. When I first moved to California, I started attending Valley Vista High School (it was scary) haha. While attending Valley, I met Mrs. Richie who worked with the young moms at the day, through her I met Myrna, who was tutoring there at the time. Myrna and I started talking and one day while giving me a ride home, she shared with me that she wanted to start a program for young high school moms and mentors and asked what I thought about it. She called it YoungLives, mothers, kids and amazing women as mentors. I remember first joining and it was all moms, the program has expended so much from having young dads including to being provided in another city for other girls.

massa2014

2014, Christopher loves his mama

I was blessed with two mentors (not purposely), first being Cassandra, who was so nice, quite and just so helpful to me. Then Stephanie Lane, that I thank YoungLives and Myrna sooooo much for placing her in my life. Being that I lost my mom, Stephanie became more than just a mentor to me. She was my friend, my mom, we were family and she even called me her daughter, her lil mama haha. She taught me to love myself; her, Tamara and Colleen (though it may not be to their knowledge). Every time these women called me beautiful or said something positive to me, it boosted my confidence, which I’ve always had a problem dealing with. Back in 2013 Tamara told me “I’m surprised but you know, those boys are probably so intimidated by your beauty, maturity and how well you speak. And I’m serious!! Always impressed by you.” Thanks to her, I’ve lived by it ever since. These women have helped so much with even knowing and that’s what it’s about. Being in YoungLives and seeing all the girls I grew with and where we were then and where we are now is what this family is about. If it’s one thing it taught me is GROWTH; growing and wanting to some day help girls whose been where I’ve been is what I want to do. I’m not in the program as a teen mom anymore but now as a volunteer, being on the other side feels so great because I’ve experienced and now want to pass on the great work.

Being a teen mom has taught me nothing can hold you back unless you let it. I never regret the day I decided to take a chance and keep my son. Strive, conquer and let NOBODY tell you cannot do it because you have a kid.

Massa2015

2015, Mother and Son

 

Hi again 🙂 I’m Massa, I’m 21. I’ve graduated from Marina High School. Now I nanny some days and work with my grandma others. I’ve learned to love myself, accept change and keep pushing. Its not easy but I’m working on the this book God wrote on my life and I’m just entering a new chapter.

We’re all YoungLives, we’re not perfect but God still love us all.

 

Passion Projects

Copy of Copy of Of courseyou did it!

Over the years we have had several individuals contribute to the work that YoungLives is doing in very creative ways. A common theme that we noticed is that people were giving back to YoungLives by engaging in an activity that they already did on a regular basis.

This is a HUGE way that you can jump in for the first time or do more to support YoungLives and impact generations. What is even more exciting is that we have a donor that wants to make these passion projects so successful that they are matching 100% of the proceeds that are raised in this way! Read how Ryan’s experience competing in a triathlon in support of YoungLives ministered to his heart HERE.

 

EXAMPLES:

ROAD RACE/ BIKE RACE- Participate in an organized race on your own or with some friends in support of YoungLives. We will set you up with a simple fundraising page where you can tell your friends what you are doing and give them the opportunity to donate.

DINNER PARTY- Host a dinner, share about the ministry (YoungLives will provide video or live testimony), and give your friends an opportunity to join the work that is happening by giving. YoungLives will also provide you with upcoming volunteer opportunities

HAIR-STYLING- Use your gift and give back. Let your clients know that you will be doing a day of hair styling and donating a portion of the proceeds to this cause.

POKER NIGHT- Gather some friends, set the buy-in, enjoy a night of friendly competition knowing that the proceeds are going to make an impact. You can even turn into a tournament if you are that ambitious!

PHOTOGRAPHY- People love getting their pictures taken. Offer family mini-sessions on a specific date at a low cost and let your clients know you will be donating the proceeds to help local teen moms. Your previous clients are great candidates!

CRAFTING- Host a craft night and charge an entry fee, create something and sell it, the sky’s the limit for you craft people!

GOLF- Join the fun and sign up to golf on July 20th for this golf passion project that is already in the works.

PAINTING PARTY- Host a night of painting and maybe even some wine and cheese.

SILENT AUCTION- Gather some prizes, invite friends and family, host a fun gathering while your friends bid on the items you collected.

ESSENTIAL OILS/ JEWELRY/ MAKEUP ETC.- Host a party and let guests know a portion of the proceeds go to this cause.

FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE- Decide on a fee to join the league, come up with a prize for your fantasy football league winner, and compete knowing that no matter who wins you are impacting the next generation.

BABY BOTTLE CHANGE DRIVE- Pick up some baby bottles and have your lifegroup fill them up with spare change for the next couple of months

FITNESS/WEIGHT-LOSS CHALLENGE- Decide on a fee to join the challenge, set up a text, facebook group or email to communicate. Get healthy and give back at the same time.

BUNCO NIGHT- Get some friends together for some friendly competition. Charge an entry fee and provide snacks.

YARD SALE- Need to clean out your garage anyways? Have friends do the same and let them know that the proceeds will go to support YoungLives ministry to teen moms and dads.

CREATE YOUR OWN- We would love to hear your ideas! Contact John Tumminello at John@strattonrd.com

 

PASSION PROJECT FAQs

1- WHY ARE WE ASKING YOU TO START YOUR OWN PASSION PROJECT?
It takes a village to make this ministry possible. We are inviting you to join us in impacting generations by participating in an event that you already enjoy.

2- WHAT DO YOU DO?
Choose something you are passionate about, set a date, gather some friends, and raise funds to support YoungLives.

3- HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT MORE?
Contact John at John@strattonrd.com  We would love to help you come up with an idea, give you YoungLives tools to implement it, and even come out and share at your event!
100% OF FUNDS RAISED WILL BE MATCHED BY A GENEROUS DONOR.
YOUR EFFORTS WILL HAVE DOUBLE THE IMPACT.