The following is an excerpt from an article in today’s Herald-Mail featuring a group that meets in the Rosemont Grace Brethren Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia (Carl Baker, pastor). To read the entire article, click here.
Some young women in the Eastern Panhandle have found second families made of peers and adult mentors who are guiding them through the maze of motherhood.
On the first and third Thursdays of every month during the school year, women ages 15 to 21 gather at Rosemont Grace Brethren Church in Martinsburg to
chat, learn parenting and life skills, and grow their faith in God. They come with children in tow to share a meal, then the little ones are put in the care of volunteer baby-sitters in another part of the building so the women can have some enriching time with their peers.
At the helm of the meetings is Jill Bevins, area director of Eastern Panhandle Young Lives, who said the group averages 20 young women at each of its gatherings, but boasts about 45 total members. She knows from experience the positive power a support network can have on a teen mother.
Bevins was 17 when she became pregnant with her son, Brandon, who is now 16. She and her husband, Thomas Bevins, also have 11-year-old twin daughters, Alaina and Alexis. She considers herself lucky to have had support from her parents and those of her husband, who was her boyfriend when she became a mother.
“I couldn’t have done it” without that parental support, said Jill Bevins, 35.
She said being a teen mom “was really scary.”