“The people here never gave up on me…”

For years, Grace Home Ministries (GHM), a nonprofit in Chesterfield, has been working with teen mothers who are determined to not let the odds defy them. GHM’s mission is simple: to provide support services for young women facing an unplanned pregnancy, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to have a successful and more abundant life.

Through programs like The Grace Project, the organization connects teen mothers to volunteer mentors who journey alongside them, helping them achieve their goals and, ultimately, mapping out a path to achieving their dreams.

“My mentor was more like a friend than a mentor. She was there when I had issues with a sick baby and didn’t know what to give her. The parenting education she gave me was amazing, but I really felt like I could call her with anything,” shared a teen mom impacted by the organization.

For another, the support altered the course of her life. When she first entered the program she had no idea how she would make it. She struggled to get from place to place, her housing situation was unstable, and she didn’t have a job. Throw in the news of an unplanned pregnancy, and this young woman’s life was in a tailspin.

It didn’t take long for her to be connected with a mentor who gave hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. They met weekly to track goals and prepare for the birth. Once the baby arrived, the help didn’t stop. Her mentor, several members in the community, and the other teen moms in the program helped her transition to her new life with baby. Through her participation in the program she earned diapers, formula and clothing, and was able to provide for the basic needs of her baby. Fast forward to today: This mom is not only out of debt, she’s purchased her own car, is gainfully employed and has a place of her own, all while raising her daughter.

This teen mother is just one of many the ministry has worked with. Some are now married or in healthy dating relationships, gainfully employed, and some are even giving back. When statistics show that teen pregnancy is one of the main reasons why teens drop out of school, GHM has had a 100-percent success rate in getting teens back in school and/or graduating from high school.

“I always envisioned everyone coming together and pouring into the young ladies,” shared co-founder, Julie Carden. “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

There are several ways you can get involved. The organization is always looking for

• Individuals who want to step in and walk the journey with a teen mother through mentoring

• Individuals who love children and would like to help provide childcare

• Individuals who would like to build bridges with schools in the community by becoming a school liaison

If you’re interested in getting involved, email Brooke Miller at brooke@gracehomeministries.org.

On May 11, GHM will hold its 6th annual Golf to Change Lives golf tournament at The Highlands Country Club. All proceeds raised from the tournament will go toward ensuring that programs and resources remain available to teen moms in the community. For more information on how you can register for the event, make a donation or become a monthly sponsor, visit gracehomeministries.org.

This feature is one in a series about the Richmond Region’s nonprofit organizations and their contributions to our communities. It is brought to you by the featured organization in collaboration with the sponsoring advertiser on this page.