“When you’re 14 years old and in the ninth grade, you never think about things happening to you. But I found myself quickly becoming another statistic — a young teen mother barely entering high school,” Nekole Taylor said.
Luckily, Taylor found out about the Anson County Partnership for Children’s Teen Information & Parenting Services Program (TIPS) from the Health Department while pregnant with her son, Jr. She was pleased to learn from the Partnership about resources that were available to her. Taylor has been a part of the TIPS program since 2009.
When asked what the TIPS program has meant to her and her child, Taylor responded, “The TIPS program has meant everything to me! Without TIPS, I wouldn’t have graduated from school. This program has also helped me know how to be a good parent and raise a healthy child. I really appreciate everything the program has done for me. I probably would have been a statistic but with TIPS I have gotten through school and I love school!”
Taylor works hard to instill a passion for learning and reading in Jr. A job made easier through another program sponsored by United Way and the Anson County Partnership for Children, the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. Through this program Jr. receives free books in the mail every month. Taylor says she and her son read daily and every book they read is his favorite. Taylor says at night Jr. covers his bed with books and asks to read all of them before going to sleep. Taylor believes this program has increased his love for books and will help him be successful in school and in the future.
Taylor explained that the Partnership for Children helped her beyond the basic needs such as diapers, books and child care. She learned how to raise a healthy child. The staff also helped her set short and long-term goals to help plan for her future. The TIPS program went on college visits that showed her the opportunities and careers available.
“Because of their support, I graduated from high school and now attend Kings College where I’m pursuing my dream of becoming a medical office assistant in a pediatrician’s’ office,” Taylor said.
“I’m proud to say that I’m not a statistic. Thanks to the help from the TIPS program and the generous UNITED WAY donors, I’m a proud mother, high school graduate, and college student who has high hopes for my future and my son’s future,” Taylor said.
The TIPS program coordinator, Caroline Hightower, had this to say about Nekole and her success: “I am tremendously proud of Nekole’s success and determination. I am glad that the TIPS program was able to assist her in reaching goals for herself and her son. I am thankful to all United Way contributors for helping the TIPS program participants and their children. Whether you realize it or not, you have made a big difference.”
The goal for the 2012 United Way campaign is to raise $80,000 in local funding to ensure that our partner agencies can continue serving their clients through programs with proven results. Last year, $77,000 was distributed to 10 partner agencies to help people like Nekole Taylor and her son Junior.
To find out ways you can contribute to United Way in Anson County, contact Caroline Goins at 704-694-2600 or visit uwcentralcarolinas.org.