At seventeen, Natalie gave birth to her daughter Aubrey. After dropping out of high school and running away from home, Natalie was anxious and unsure about her future. Natalie first learned about Alley’s House from her CPS worker so she could continue her education and learn the skills necessary to be a stronger mother for nine-month-old Aubrey.
Like many of our moms, Natalie was afraid of being judged by others for her mistakes. When she enrolled at Alley’s House she found a nurturing, nonjudgmental environment that allowed her to focus on her future and support her personal growth. Natalie has been enrolled at Alley’s House for eight months and says that she has grown more confident in herself as a young woman and mother. Natalie has completed the Health and Wellness (20 hours), Personal Enrichment (5 hours), and PowerSource Parenting and Parenting Support Groups (20 hours). She is nearing completion on both the Financial Literacy and Workforce Readiness workshops, studying to take the GED in October, and has set a goal to graduate by December.
Each April, our participants apply for Alley’s House Mother of the Year award. Natalie’s application focused not only on the obstacles that she has overcome but her goals for the future. Paired with her strong attendance and active program participation she was unanimously voted by the committee to receive the Mother of the Year award. Her win showed her that her motivation was paying off and others saw her hard work to become a better mom and GED graduate.
Once Natalie completes her GED, she plans to enroll in Alley’s House CNA program and her long-term educational goal is to enroll in law school. You can learn more about Natalie’s journey at Alley’s House 2015 Luncheon on October 8th […]
Alley’s House fall semester starts the week of August 24th and as we start back to school we’re pleased to share that Stephanie Shavers Jones will join the team as Program Supervisor.
Stephanie joins us after almost four years working for the Department of Family and Protective Services as an Investigator for Child Protective Services and two years with Health and Human Services as an Eligibility Specialist. She earned her Bachelors of Art in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology.
Stephanie was born in Texarkana, TX. She was raised by her father, a U.S. army veteran, and mother a U.S. Army civilian worker who made several tours to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Stephanie’s older brother followed in their parents’ footsteps and become a U.S. civilian worker and served time overseas. Stephanie’s passion for impacting the lives of children and families may be a product of her childhood as her parents were foster parents in addition to caring for their small town community, church, and country. Stephanie currently resides in Balch Springs, TX with her husband, son, and puppy named Caesar.
Stephanie is excited to join the Alley’s House team and shares that she wants to make a difference in the lives of people that she meet, which is why she choose a career path that would allow her to do so. We welcome Stephanie to the agency and know that with her background, motivation, and rapport with young women and children that she will be a great asset and support system to our young mothers.
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’ […]
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!
Mary Katherine began her volunteer experience with Alley’s House in 2014 and was honored as Alley’s House 2014 Volunteer of the Year for her work and passion for the young women and children she served. Below is a reflection her time at Alley’s House.
As my time as an Alley’s House volunteer comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on how I have changed since my first day here. I grew from a timid, first-time volunteer, unsure of what to expect, and transitioned into a full member of the Alley’s House family. After a year and a half of rocking fussy babies to sleep, stuffing donor information folders, and organizing (and reorganizing) the boutique, I had the opportunity to be involved in all areas of Alley’s House.
Most importantly, I was able to form wonderful relationships with awesome women. From the staff who work tirelessly and lovingly to make Alley’s House the amazing place it is, to the moms who demonstrate awe-inspiring courage and perseverance every single day, each woman in the Alley’s House family has impacted me in a unique way. Alley’s House is an incredible place that helps to empower so many young women in the D/FW area.
Not only is Alley’s House successfully empowering young mothers in Dallas, but they help to empower every person that they encounter. I know I am a stronger, more independent woman because of my experiences as a volunteer. I am so grateful for Alley’s House, and I am so excited to see it grow in the future.
If you’re looking for an amazing volunteer experience like Mary Katherine’s, please call 214-824-8700 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have your support as a childcare volunteer this summer and fall, Tuesdays through […]