The Dale Young Mothers’ Program: Courtney and Seth
We’re continuing our series on the Dale Young Mothers’ Program (YMP) from Wyong, NSW.
Funded by the Youth Connections program and the Wyong Better Futures Local Solutions Local Advisory Group, the Dale Young Mothers’ Program gives young parents the chance to complete their year 12 certificate and form pathways to further education/work by creating a supportive environment that is flexible and that caters to the needs of both the parents and their children.
Lip spoke to four of the young mothers completing the program about their experiences, and what their future looks like now.
Today, we chat to Courtney (20 years old), about her life with her son, Seth (2 years old). Although Courtney isn’t entirely certain what the future looks like yet, she knows that the Dale Young Mothers’ Program has made it a lot brighter for her.
Lip: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Courtney: I’m 20 and I live in Budgewoi and have for the past 20 years. I live with my mother, my father and my sister and have my whole life!
Lip: Can you tell us a bit about Seth?
Courtney: Seth is two in April and he’s actually really smart. He can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Ba Ba Black Sheep and all the major nursery rhymes. He can count to ten and sing the alphabet. He’s actually going through a stage at the moment were he likes to know a lot and he has really good manners – he always says thank you! He says it so cute.
Lip: How do you think the Young Mothers’ Program is helping you?
Well, first of all, I have a lot more options coming here. It’s helping me go in the right direction in my life, because I have seen a lot of girls come through here and then just, fail at it…I think it’s really helped me. It’s made me want to push further along with my education, because of the people in the program.
Lip: Before you started with YMP, do you think you had a different view of your future?
Courtney: Yes, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just thought, I’ll do whatever ’til Seth is older, until I get a job. But, this has given me the outlook that I can get a career, not just a job – that I can work towards a good stable future.
Lip: What do you hope to achieve through YMP?
Courtney: I want to gain my full HSC certificate and then probably enroll into university.
Lip: What have you already achieved through the program?
Courtney: I have completed my Year 11 certificate and I am currently doing my Year 12 and enrolling in more subjects, because through this course you are only offered 6 units of work and you have to have 10 to complete your full HSC – so I’m going to do that.
Lip: What are your plans for the future?
Courtney: I’m not exactly sure yet. But I know I’m finishing off this year and then hopefully coming back next year and doing a couple of subjects.
Lip: Tell me more about you! What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekend?
Courtney: I like to take Seth to the beach, because he loves the beach and the water. Basically I stay at home a lot, and do fun things for Seth. He has everything a child could want in the backyard, so we just go out there and play everyday.
Lip: If you could offer any advice to young parent, what would it be?
Courtney: Wear a condom! (laughs) Nah jokes…don’t overthink things too much…If you are stressed then seek help. Participate in a group activity or a school…you might not want to get your education but it does offer a lot of support and opens up a lot of doors for your child.
You can find out more about Youth Connections through their website.
The Wyong Local Advisory Group funds the Young Parents Program Wyong and also supports the local community. The Local Advisory Group aim to increase employment opportunities, improve social economic and social participation, promote accessibility to early childhood support, increase levels of educational attainment and promote the development of life skills of young parents, jobless families and the long-term unemployed in the Wyong Local Government Area (LGA).