INSPIRED IMPACT™ is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
GENESIS helps children get their best start in life. Our home visiting program supports healthy parenting practices within teen parent families in Boulder County. Services are provided to teen parents from pregnancy through the child’s third birthday. When you join GENESIS, we pair you with a mentor (called a parent educator) who was a teen parent themselves. They use their own experiences and training to support you to become the parent you want to be. We will help prepare you for childbirth and beyond, including things like breastfeeding, birth control, child nutrition and healthy relationships.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
The vision of our department is: “People living their best lives in a healthy, inclusive community.” Pregnancy can be exciting, scary, overwhelming, joyful, or all of these things at once. We are here to help you create the best possible future for you and your baby.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
GENESIS has documented success in increasing breastfeeding, school completion, participation in work, use of effective family planning, and recommended birth spacing. We reduce the social isolation that many teen parents experience. We improve access to important services such as mental health treatment, early intervention services, and prenatal and well-child care.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
I am inspired every day by both our talented staff and our current and former clients. Thousands of Boulder County families have completed the GENESIS program over the past 25 years. The truth is that many of these young women have endured incredible hardships. Yet with the reliable support of someone who believes in them and helps them along the way, they are able to overcome obstacles to successful parenting.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
We want every young family to have the opportunity for a healthy life.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We are so lucky that Boulder County, local governments, local school districts and community agencies in this area band together to help disadvantaged families. Together we are all looking at ways to do a better job meeting needs around mental health, housing and health equity.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Access to affordable and reliable contraceptives is the most important way to impact teen pregnancy. Threats to access are the biggest challenge to the incredible progress that has been made in this arena.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
The secret to our success has been hiring staff who have “walked in the shoes” of our clients. Make sure that your staff looks like the community you serve. Create, support and reward role models for your clients.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
GENESIS accepts donations of gently used baby items or new car seats. Donation information is available on our website.
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