For many young parents, their children motivate them to continue pursuing an education. Amplifying the voices of young parents is so important in fighting stigma and ensuring young families feel supported and respected.
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ) recently expanded their Justice for Young Families Initiative (J4YF), an initiative seeking to eliminate the negative stigma surrounding teen pregnancy and feature the lives of young parents in the Latinx community.
Currently youth reproductive and sexual health issues are not given the priority they deserve. To combat this problem, #J4YF was created to support young families, shift hurtful societal norms, and share stories from Latinx youth on sexuality – pushing the community to #RespectYoungFams. Through the stories told by young parents who are part of the J4YF community, together we can change the dialog and educate individuals on the importance of supporting young parents.
“I feel proud of myself. I remember I used to just ditch and I wasn’t even at school… the kids keep me off the streets. I am home most of the time now instead of doing what I used to do,” one young father told CLRJ. Another young mother describes having even bigger aspirations because of her daughter: “I could hear little messages coming from her, for me to take care of her, for me to be there. She is just pushing me more and more to do more than whatever I wanted before I was pregnant. She is just more of a big motivation for me.”
J4YF hopes to benefit the Latinx community by providing young parents with the resources to gain access to opportunities to better their lives. They also seek to offer society a better understanding inside a young parent’s life.
You can help spread the word! Tweet your own message of support for young families and use the hashtag #J4YF and #RespectYoungFams to join the conversation on twitter.