My YPI group that consisted of Ashley, Edie, Esme and Bryan researched and worked on the social issue of teen pregnancy. We chose this issue because we wanted to help kids in the city and we wanted to combat an issue that involved families. We chose to research and visit Covenant House. Covenant House is a rather large organization that focuses on harboring and helping homeless youth across the United States but there are also some branches of the non-profit organization in South and Central America. The branch of Covenant House in New York City is on 42nd street, but we just focused on the Mother-Child branch of Covenant House that is on 51st street. This branch of Covenant House is much smaller, with a much smaller annual budget than the whole non-profit. Nevertheless, Covenant House was very nice, felt comfortable and safe and it was very providing for the girls who were staying there.
Going into the YPI project I thought that any organization that we chose to visit would have the same out-look on teen pregnancy, and I thought that out-look or mission would be to stop teens from getting pregnant and preventing sex and pregnancy. However, the Covenant House’s first priority was not to prevent pregnancy but to help and support teen mothers after they are pregnant and if they already had a baby. Also, since Covenant House is a Christian organization, they cannot ask the mothers or other teens to use birth control or contraceptives. Nevertheless, I was still very surprised and moved about how the organization respected the girls even after the girls had made the mistake of getting pregnant and how the organization raises the girls up with hope instead of breaking them down with guilt. Furthermore, I am not a very comfortable public speaker, so I thought the presentation in the meetinghouse helped me work on those skills. Also, going to the Covenant House with my group made me get closer with them and gave me a sense of leadership and independence. I thought the project was both rewarding and challenging. It was challenging because getting the presentation together and finding a way to meet with our entire group was hard for many of us have tough schedules during the week and weekends. However, the project was very awarding because after we presented in the meetinghouse, I had a great feeling that we gave the project and the presentation all our effort and we had a profound effect on everyone we were presenting to on our social issue.