WJCS given $25K to educate teen moms

OSSINING – Senator David Carlucci joined with teen moms on Tuesday, to announce he secured $25,000 in state funding for Westchester Jewish Community Services. WJCS provides teens with counseling, case management and education about parenting skills and child development.

“We see that teens they get pregnant in high school, unfortunately over 50 percent never graduate from high school and don’t receive their diploma. And that is something that we want to change,” Carlucci said. “With a little bit of wraparound services, we will make sure that these women go on to do great things.”

Diana Villa is a teen mom and is a student at Ossining High School. For the past year, Villa has been part of the Westchester Jewish community service teen pregnancy program at their school known as young people achieve.

“It’s like I know that other people are going through it with me and that helps me a lot. Because I have anxiety a lot with this,” Villa said. “They gave us bags, and gifts and diapers and books. Just so many things that would come in handy to me at least. Because we are young moms. We go to school and juggle a lot of things all at once.”

With the extra funding, Director of Youth Services Paula Santa-Donato said can add additional resources to the group.

“But with other things, we are able to do. We run group, we provide snacks at the groups, the funding just supports the program,” Santa-Donato said.