Young teen moms need more than support – they need a network of caring mentors. This mantra drives YoungLives Detroit. "The overall mission is to build relationships with teen moms in order to give help to them and offer hope for their future," says director Terrilynn Cook. "We go and meet them where they are." Cook, an Ohio native who came to Detroit at an early age, credits her own past experience with helping her connect to YoungLives in 2017, when she started as director.
Although she wasn't a teen mom, she had her son at age 21 and understands firsthand the many challenges, such as access to day care, diapers, school programs and other issues. There's the mentoring aspect, but also a summer camp where teen moms – and their kids – enjoy a large space to play and bond. This year's event takes place at Timber Wolf Lake. "Having that adult to mentor to support and also to give good sound advice is crucial," Cook says. "Letting them know ultimately it's not where you started, it's where you finish. You can still go on to do great things – you can still graduate high school or college."
Teen Moms Summer Camp
Timber Wolf Lake, Lake City, Michigan