Volunteer Snapshot: Working with Young Mothers
Bessi volunteered five to six hours a week and looked forward to forming relationships with the students.
It isn’t surprising to see Bessi Fernandez conversing with young teens about life, because she is all about helping young ladies. When Bessi was a volunteer at Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, she was a junior at Temple University College of Health Professions and Social Work program and had a history of volunteering. Her desire was to work with young mothers, which led her to the ELECT (Education Leading to Employment and Career Training) Teen Parent Classrooms, a program which is a partnership between Communities In Schools of Philadelphia and the Schools District of Philadelphia.
Bessi stated, “Throughout high school, I volunteered with a program called New York Cares, which gave me the opportunity to feed the homeless and participate in coat and can drives. While at Temple University, I joined a student organization called HANDS, which allowed me to volunteer in different activities around North Philadelphia,” Bessi explained.
She chose to volunteer with ELECT because she always wanted to work with young mothers and children. Bessi was very close to a lot of young mothers including her sister, who became a mother at the age of 16. “It was really hard on her. She wanted to go to cosmetology school and be a nurse. Eventually she stopped going to school and stopped hanging out with her friends. Life was different because she was going to be a mother,” Bessi said.
She continued, “And while my sister did receive a lot of help from our family, I know there are many young girls who aren’t as fortunate. Most of these young girls begin to give up on education once they become mothers, and I want to be part of reassuring them that this dream can still be a reality.”
Bessi volunteered five to six hours a week and looked forward to forming relationships with the students. “I am also looking to gain experience for my future endeavors,” she stated, which is working as a high school counselor. Her long term plan is to obtain a master’s degree in social work.