She always knew she would go to college to become a psychologist. Despite entering foster care at 15 and giving birth to a son at 18, Ezra managed to graduate from high school and start her freshman year at a university. However, her dreams of higher education were put on hold when she was forced to drop out of school after fleeing the abusive relationship she had with her baby’s father.
Thanks to a referral, Ezra and her infant moved into our Newburyport home for pregnant and parenting girls. She planned on staying there only a few months but that turned into three years. At first, she focused on getting a job, but HopeWell staff encouraged her to return to school. “They pushed me,” she said. “They believed in me and told me that I could succeed.” Ezra enrolled in a community college where she received her associate’s degree, eventually obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a college where she participated in a parenting program that allowed her to live on campus with her toddler.
Our Newburyport moms want to break the cycle of involvement with the Department of Children and Families by raising their children themselves and living independently. They want a better life for themselves and their child. Our staff is able to give these young women a nurturing home to assist them in developing parenting skills and complete their education while living in an environment where staff provides 24-hour care in a safe, comfortable home.
We know our work in Newburyport matters. Ezra talks about what we do for young women like her. “HopeWell’s staff are my pseudo-parents, my emotional support. They celebrated my achievements. I couldn’t have done this without HopeWell.”