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Alley’s House Summer of Empowerment

Alley’s House Summer of Empowerment provided young mothers five weeks of fun and education with book club, field trips to Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Museum of Art, and Aldi food store plus hands-on workshops to prepare them to return to school with parenting, college/career training, and life skills to enhance their support system.

These feats would not be possible without the support of workshop facilitators from AT&T, The Be Project, Dallas Woman’s Forum, Hope Cottage, Women Infant Children (WIC), and Alley’s House alumna Ashley Lindley. Pictured below is Alisa Thomas from AT&T, who led a workshop on Office & Professional Etiquette. This was a particularly unique experience as AT&T also brought along four of their high school and college summer interns to participate in the training.

Simone, an AT&T summer intern, said “The visit to Alley’s House was a great experience. Meeting with the teen mothers gave us a new perspective on the struggles of raising a family. The girls at Alley’s House were determined to create a better life for themselves and their families. Though they were a little shy, I felt their eagerness to learn more about the etiquette of the business world. Some of the girls were even professionally dressed and ready for the work environment. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and hoped the girls learned a lot! Through this experience these young ladies will be built for success and acquire great business skills. I wish them the best within this program and their future endeavors.”

Workshops like these make an enormous impact on our young moms as they prepare to navigate the working world. As Simone said, “Alisa’s presentation gave great insight on tools needed to be successful. The slide ‘The Ideal Employee’ […]

By |July 28th, 2015|Alley's House Volunteers, Supporters, Teen Moms|Comments Off on Alley’s House Summer of Empowerment

The Link Between Exercise and Mental Health

Shelly Gloyna, LPC-Intern supervised by Dr. Myron Jones, LPC-S, LCDC, is a mental health professional, Alley’s House program supervisor, and fitness enthusiast. During the first session of Alley’s House Summer of Empowerment she’s facilitated fitness workshops and highlighted the benefits of exercise in achieving mental and physical health goals. Shelly shares some simple lifestyle modifications that can be a cost effective way to improve mental health, physical health and overall quality of life.
Exercise has been shown to have a positive correlation to anxiety and depression. Endorphins or the “feel good brain chemicals” are released during exercise which creates feelings of happiness. During exercise you have the opportunity to be more social, increase confidence, lower anxiety and learn positive coping skills for life stressors. To ward off post-partum depression in particular, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week for pregnant women who are not suffering any medical or obstetric complications. During the first week of June, I had the pleasure of attending the Cooper Institute Personal Training Certification course to gain formalized education about promoting healthy lifestyles through exercise for our program participants as well as within the community. I look forward to sharing the benefits of healthy eating, nutrition and exercise with our moms!

By |June 25th, 2015|Empowerment, Life Skills, Teen Moms, Women's Health|Comments Off on The Link Between Exercise and Mental Health

Changing Lives and Enhancing Futures

A community partnership comes in many different shapes and sizes. Veritex Community Bank has had the privilege of enjoying a great partnership with Alley’s House for several years now, all thanks to our Women in Business Program. The program offers networking socials for female business owners and executives so it was a natural fit for Alley’s House founder to attend socials and even serve as one of our Charity Spotlights. From there, a partnership blossomed that included networking, a banking relationship and friendship with the staff.

Given this longstanding partnership, I was thrilled to get the call from Rachel, Executive Director, asking if Veritex Community Bank had the interest and time to assist with leading financial literacy classes for their teen moms. Quite honestly, the bank as a whole was more than meeting our CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) requirements, but we love our relationship with Alley’s House, believe in the Alley’s House mission and wanted to help out. I asked a couple Veritex teammates to help me so that we could fill as many dates as possible for the Spring. No “arm twisting” was required and AVP/Branch Manager Angela and AVP/Portfolio Manager Holly jumped at the chance to talk with these young women about topics such as Dealing with Debt, Attitudes towards Money, Budgeting and Credit Building. The Veritex philosophy is one of giving back and doing it with presence. We take the word “community” in Veritex Community Bank very seriously.

Angela, Holly and I knew we would enjoy our visits with the girls. We each are moms as well, with our own stories of joys, difficult times and the importance of financial literacy. One of us had been a teen mom. Another had been a […]

By |April 27th, 2015|Alley's House Volunteers, Life Skills, Teen Moms|Comments Off on Changing Lives and Enhancing Futures

The Passion of Giving

Community involvement, volunteerism, and civic involvement are core beliefs that have always been encouraged in my family, and frankly, it has become ingrained in how we live our day-to-day lives. My wife and I support organizations within our community that we are passionate about and that we believe are making a great impact, provide a much-needed service to our community, and the passion of the organization is reflected in their staff and those who they serve. To us, Alley’s House represents that passion!

As a Board Member, I am honored and grateful to support and be engaged with such a wonderful organization that allows me to be personally involved. I also lead community engagement efforts for Fossil Group Inc., and I have a great opportunity to share the story of Alley’s House and the young mothers they support, to other Fossil employees and engage them to support the mission of Alley’s House.

I am a first generation Mexican-American, come from a large family of immigrants, and the issue of teen pregnancy and the challenges of being a young mother is something that is very close and personal to me. Alley’s House represents an organization that truly understands the needs of young mothers and is successfully working towards providing a comprehensive solution to them, not just a temporary solution. I view the work of Alley’s House, as providing the necessary tools to young mothers to be successful in achieving their educational and careers goals, and to live a more fulfilling life for them and their family.

To find ways to support Alley’s House, like Alex, please contact 214-824-8700 or email at info.alleyshouse.org.

By |March 26th, 2015|Alley's House Volunteers, Support, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Passion of Giving

Spring is Near and Change is Here!

Alley’s House mission is to empower teen mothers to achieve independence; a message that resonates with stakeholders based on their personal perspective and role. As Program Supervisor, I work hand in hand with our pathways participants to expand their perspective and identify what “independence” looks like for them.

Initially, some moms may express unfamiliarity and reservation dealing with topics on financial literacy and professional etiquette; questioning, “How will this help me on my path?” As they gain a deeper understanding of what their “independence” looks like they build an affinity to the wide range of topics and services Alley’s House can offer them.

In 2015, Alley’s House is focused on strengthening our programs;

We’ve slowly transitioned from a social work model to a community counseling framework to enable us to expand our counseling program. All of our pathway participants undergo a self-improvement intake session and participate in 24 weeks of one-on-one self-improvement sessions led by LPC-Interns or Master’s Practicum students.In mid-February, our bi-weekly Teen Mom Group reached a tipping point where moms felt safe to share personal stories, shed tears, and allow moms to connect to each other in a more personal way. That afternoon, as mothers prepared to leave for the day, they all naturally gathered in a circle laughing and engaging in positive conversation. The transition to a community counseling model has undoubtedly strengthened the unity among Alley’s House staff, interns, volunteers, and moms.

We are adding 20 units of curriculum to our core program to build a stronger financial literacy, professional development, and health and wellness curriculum. These will be modularized so we can take pieces of our core program to the community to reach moms through 5-session long community outreach workshops.

 

We are working on […]

By |February 26th, 2015|Alley's House Team, Empowerment, Teen Moms, Teen Pregnancy|Comments Off on Spring is Near and Change is Here!

Keep Moving Forward

As we take today to remember the work and passion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it’s important to recognize the numerous ways in which we have moved forward in our country despite those who try to stop us. As Americans we have continued to pursue the vision and dream of Martin Luther King Jr., to be more tolerant of one another, love each other and be unconditionally accepting of those that are different than us, whether it be by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion.

While trying to love and understand the needs of others, sometimes we forget to love ourselves. There is still a   prevalent need for mental health and comprehensive wellness within minority communities. According to Mental Health America, communities of color have historically experienced unique and considerable challenges in accessing mental health   services.

As Alley’s House fulfills its vision of empowering moms and children, we will focus on using integral and more detailed mental health services. By providing individual self improvement sessions, teen mom groups, parenting support groups and psycho-educational services within the community, we hope to encourage and teach families to work together in achieving positive, sustainable lifestyles that promote success and independence. 

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Shelly Gloyna, Counseling and Community Outreach Coordinator for Alley’s House

By |January 19th, 2015|Empowerment|Comments Off on Keep Moving Forward

Miss Independent: April Spotlight

Alley’s House graduate: Keshawn

Alley’s House is proud to highlight our moms through the “Miss Independent” series. Each month we will feature one of our moms and talk about their journey to success. Alley’s House encourages all of our clients to accomplish their goals and dreams, while achieving independence for themselves and their families. If you are interested in helping Alley’s House achieve its mission, you can learn more about becoming a volunteer, mentor, or donor at www.alleyshouse.org.

Each year, Alley’s House selects one young mom to receive our Mother of the Year award. The honor is given to one exceptional young woman who is working to create a strong foundation by overcoming personal obstacles and achieving her goals. She is honored at our Mother’s Day Picnic with a special gift basket and is a guest of honor at our annual luncheon. Our 2013 recipient, Keshawn, looks back at her time with Alley’s House and what motivated her to graduate the program, continue her education, and achieve a personal sense of independence.

“I wasn’t expecting my name to be called, because along with myself, there were other independent, strong, successful teen mothers who deserved Mother of the Year. I was surprised, but it made me feel good to know there were people who felt I deserved the award.” – Keshawn, 2013 Alley’s House graduate and recipient of the 2013 Mother of the Year Award

Keshawn came to Alley’s House in 2010 with her oldest son, Kenny, and her youngest, Keenan, on the way. Her goal was to finish her education, prepare for college, and take steps towards a career in psychology or criminal justice. She struggled with a lack of family support and dropped out of Alley’s […]

By |April 30th, 2014|Empowerment, Teen Mom Success Stories, Teen Moms|Comments Off on Miss Independent: April Spotlight