Almost no one thinks it's a good idea for unwed teenagers to become parents. It would be the odd parent, indeed, who counseled their own teenage son or daughter to start a family. Most parents hope that their children will finish school, find a job, and marry before they take on the burdens of parenthood. But what the majority of parents, almost regardless of race or social class, want for their own children is not what we have.
Instead, 40 percent of all girls in the United States become pregnant before their twentieth birthday, and one out of every five goes on to become a teen mother. The overwhelming majority of these young mothers are unmarried and end up poor and on welfare. Certainly, recent social trends are encouraging. Teen pregnancy rates have declined almost as sharply during the 1990s as they had increased in the preceding two decades. And for the first time, teen birth rates are dropping not because more teens are having abortions but because fewer of them are getting pregnant in the first place.
These recent declines auger well for the future, but it is worth remembering that teenage pregnancy rates in America are still at least twice as high as in other industrialized countries and about as high as they were in the early 1970s. About half of these pregnancies are carried to term while the remainder either end with a miscarriage or are terminated by an abortion. Very few teen mothers put their babies up for adoption, or marry the baby's father, a marked departure from practices 30 or 40 years ago.
When members of Congress enacted the new welfare law in 1996, they put at least as much emphasis on reducing teen and out-of-wedlock pregnancy as they did on requiring work. Yet states have been reluctant to take up this challenge, preferring to emphasize job placement and other strategies designed to move recipients into the workforce. in my view, that's shortsighted: Much greater attention should be given to encouraging young people to defer childbearing until they are ready to be parents.
"Welfare Reform and Reducing Teen Pregnancy" written by Isabel V. Sawhill
Only 1 of 2 students graduate high school in US cities: study
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Three out of 10 US public school students do not graduate from high school, and major city school districts only graduate one out of two students, according to a study released Tuesday. In a report on graduation rates around the country, the EPE Research Center and the America Promise Alliance also showed that the high school graduation rate -- finishing 12 grades of school -- in big cities falls to as low as just 34.6 percent in Baltimore, Maryland and barely over 40 percent for the troubled Ohio cities of Columbus and Cleve- land. And it said that black and native American student's have effectively a one-in-two chance of getting a high school diploma. "Our analysis finds that graduating from high school in America's largest cities amounts, essentially, to a coin toss," the study said. "Only about one-half (52 percent) of students in the principal school systems of the 50 largest cities complete high school with a diploma."
Based on 2003-2004 data, the report said that across the country the graduation average for public school students is 69.9 percent, with the best success rate in suburbs--74.9 percent--and rural districts--73.2 percent. Asian-Americans score the highest graduation rate, at 80 percent, with whites at 76.2 percent and Hispanics at 57.8 percent. Women graduate at a much higher rate than men, 73.6 percent to 66.0 percent. In the country's city schools, the study found that in urban areas generally, just 60.4 percent graduate, and in the principal school districts of the top 50 cities, barely half graduate. Detroit's main school district scored a graduation rate of 24.9 percent. New York, the country's largest city, has a graduation rate for its main school district of 45.2 percent, and L.A, the second largest, of 45.3 percent. Only five of the principal school districts topped the national average.
"The Uncompromising Young Women Of Distinction Award"
To Acknowledge, Uplift & Empower!
Helping To Reduce Teen Pregnancy
To graduate high school (without pregnancy) is such a mature, responsible and monumental choice, that we want to show our deep, profound appreciation. We are proud to acknowledge these wonderful, young women in our communities!
Our young ladies will have a fun filled time at Lake Compounce! Their beautiful tiara's and sashes will glitter and shine at a fun and exciting afternoon designed specifically with them in mind. We want them to be the center of attention because they have proven that they are more than worthy of our love...they are worthy of our commitment to their success. It will be an afternoon and evening for all to enjoy!
"It takes an ENTIRE village to raise a child but it must first start with a willing participant."
Choosing a life mate is a serious decision which will impact the rest of your life. It is a decision that can make or break you. Don't settle for second best; it is not worth it in the long run. Solid relationships are built on friendship, honesty and sincerity.
Proverbs 7:5 warns us to: "Beware of the stranger who flatters us with words." Some people will tell you what you want to hear, but their actions will reveal that they are totally insincere.
"Some people are occupying a front row seat in your life, when they ought to be in the balcony. We need to become ushers and escort them to their appropriate place in our lives and leave room in the front row for the special person who should occupy that front row seat."
Tuskegee University Womens Glee Club's rendition of The Clark Sisters-
The only survivor of a shipwreck had washed up onshore of a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for GOD to rescue him and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forth-coming. Exhausted, he managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements and store his personal possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he returned to find his little hut up in flames, with smoke billowing into the sky. The worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his recuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.
Remember that the next time your hut seems to be burning down to the ground. It may just be that smoke signal that is summoning, God.