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Grand Traverse Woman

LIFE-CHANGING FORWARD MOTION As all new parents quickly learn, parenting can be a roller-coaster of joys, fears and challenges. Parents are often at their most vulnerable during the early months, regardless of their circumstances. Many women experience postpartum depression, isolation and heightened anxiety over their child’s wellbeing. For teen parents with no one to walk alongside them, this can be an overwhelming and frightening time. But with assistance from Generations Ahead and the non-judgmental, dependable support of a mentor, the lives of two generations can be transformed. Marjie Rich, MPH, is the director of Generations Ahead, the only local program specifically focused on teen and young adult parents in the Grand Traverse Area. Marjie has been working in the field of maternal and child health for over 25 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, making pottery, traveling, and gardening. She and her husband have raised three daughters in Traverse City.

What is Generations Ahead? Generations Ahead works with any teen parent (moms and dads) in the Grand Traverse Region. Clients must have become pregnant before their 20th birthday. Generations Ahead is made possible by the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation (GTRCF), the program’s philanthropic partner. The GTRCF accepts donations designated for Generations Ahead, then awards grants to Traverse City Area Public Schools to support the program. In 2018, TCAPS became the host of the Teen Parent Program, which has supported over 1,000 pregnant and parenting teens in the Grand Traverse area over 40 years. Generation Ahead’s baby pantry accepts new or gently used donations for both baby and mama, from baby and toddler clothing, diapers, and linens, to maternity clothes, high chairs, and strollers. The baby pantry is located at the Generations Ahead office at Traverse City High School, 3962 3 Mile Rd. N., Traverse City. If you’d like to learn more as a parent or a mentor, visit www.GenerationsAhead.org, email info@generationsahead.org or call 231.360.0053. The next Mentor Training begins May 9th. Men and women mentors are wanted.

SERVICES PROVIDED

• Mentors • Counseling with program social worker • Parenting education classes • Weekly playgroups every Wednesday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. • Monthly family activities in the community • Baby pantry with clothing, diapers and small baby items

All services are free. Clients can choose whatever services they would like to utilize.

VOLUNTEERS WELCOME IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS

• Mentors to work weekly with their matched client, requires training and a one-year commitment • Assistance with maintaining baby pantry • Fundraising and grant writing • Providing one-time classes for teen parents in focus areas such as cooking, car maintenance, yoga, CPR, etc. • Child care while parents attend parenting classes

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