Olivia was part of NLCS’s most recent graduating class. Olivia’s early teen years involved being homeless and selling drugs in order to survive. But the day she found out she was pregnant with her son, Lennon, everything changed. All she cared about was being a good mom. Soon after, she enrolled at NLCS.

Here, she could have lunch with Lennon every day, visit him during Parenting Lab, and nurse him whenever she needed to. The teachers in the Early Learning Center (ELC) supported Lennon by doing stimulating activities with him to promote his development. These included individualized exercises that helped him improve in areas where he needed additional support, and encouragement for him to keep working on developing new skills. Olivia loved that the ELC was flexible enough to support her career goals as well; if she was out of the building taking a college class, they were available to take care of him.

Being the curious young woman that she is, Olivia had done plenty of research on parenting during her pregnancy. Still, she found NLCS’s Parenting classes to be full of useful information, especially the connections a mother can make with their child from the very beginning of their life. “I would never, ever have known how important a routine was for a baby,” Olivia says. “Things that we don’t think about ourselves help the baby—talking, routine…people say ‘being a mom comes naturally’ but that’s not always true.” Parenting classes helped her form a strong bond with Lennon from the time he was born. She loves that “we don’t just talk about parenting; we talk about teen parenting, which has its own unique challenges.” 

Olivia adds that having friends with young children at school is a huge help because there is always a peer to go to who has been through a similar situation. “For young parents, it can be a burden but it can also be a motivator,” Olivia says. “It’s nice to come to school. Normally, it wouldn’t be, but not here. School is fun for me now.”

Most of all, Olivia is grateful for the impact NLCS has had on Lennon’s future. She says, “Lennon will never have to worry about where his next meal will come from or where he’ll be sleeping each night like I had to. Thanks to New Legacy, I am able to give Lennon the life he deserves.”

Olivia continues, “Teen pregnancy happens everywhere and schools like New Legacy provide parents the opportunity to give their children and themselves great lives. Without New Legacy, I would be a high school dropout with no big dreams or goals. Now, I’m able to work towards my dream of being a child psychiatrist.” She took a huge step toward that goal in May when she graduated from high school—as a salutatorian!—with Lennon by her side.