Posted on Saturday March 18, 2017
Pictured above, L-R: Residential student Serenity Brezler, Passages Teacher Erica Gates and Passages Graduate Breanna Moody at our March 2017 Open House in Camden
Breanna Moody’s Open House Speech, March 16, 2017
Breanna gave this speech to a crowd of close to forty people gathered at Wayfinder Schools’ Camden Campus
“Thank you all for joining us tonight. I’m Breanna Moody, a 2016 graduate of the Passages Program. I want to share with you this evening my experiences and opportunities while in a program that means so much to me and helped me become the person I am today. I was 17 when I started the Passages Program in October of 2015. I was 20 weeks pregnant.
As a young mother and student, a few of the biggest challenges for me were balancing school, learning to be a mother, and a becoming a productive member of the community. Passages helped me with all of this. Not only was I able to learn to manage time but I learned to manage my money. My teacher, Erica Gates, taught me how to budget and helped me find the most effective way for me.
During my time in the Passages Program, I participated in the Lullaby Project, became certified in first aid and CPR and just months before graduating I enrolled in a CNA certification program and was employed two months prior to graduating. It wasn’t easy balancing all of this but looking back on my experience I know my motivation and determination to succeed as well as the help I got from my teacher and other staff members allowed me achieve more than I had ever thought I could.
As I mentioned before, I was a part of Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project (with Bay Chamber Concerts & Music School). I was able to work with musicians Matt and Stephanie Fogg to write a lullaby that we eventually called “Hadley’s Song.” My lullaby ended up being picked to be played by musicians at Carnegie Hall in New York. The Lullaby Project was the most memorable thing I did and I enjoyed the musicians and the fact I now have a special song I can forever share with my daughter.
While a part of the Passages Program I also volunteered at the soup kitchen in Rockland. It felt great to give back to people and I learned that it actually feels better to give rather than to take. Erica was also there and volunteered with me.
While working on my Passage (the final project for graduation), I also had the chance to go to a Toast master’s meeting and present my final project, which was a speech about being a teen parent. I was awarded as the first place speaker that night.
It took me one year and eight months to graduate with my high school diploma and since that day in June 2016, I have done many things. I am working full time as a CNA at Windward Gardens here in Camden, a job that I have had for one year this month. I am a single mother who is confident in managing my time with work, parenting and making time for myself. My daughter will be two this week and is becoming a wild and crazy two-year-old, just as she should be. I love feeling like I can be the role model that Hadley deserves. For this I thank the Passages Program and flexibility I was able to have as a student and a mother.”
Posted on Sunday March 5, 2017
Meet our newest Passages Teacher, Julia Johnston!
Julia recently joined our Passages team, and is based at our New Gloucester campus, along with fellow Passages Teachers Megan Shea and Dana Fadel. Together, they cover York, Cumberland and Androscoggin Counties.
Julia came to Maine in 2016, but says she feels more at home here than any of the many places she has lived. Some of her passions include cooking, hiking, gardening, reading and kayaking, and “admiring the beauty of Maine.”
Her past teaching experience includes a bilingual French American school, an alternative high school, a refugee English class, and one-on-one tutoring for all different ages. Julia holds a Bachelor in History from Oberlin College, a Master of Architecture from Va Tech, and a Masters of Teaching from Rhode Island College. Prior to teaching she was an architect in Colorado and Rhode Island.
Julia says, “Teaching at Wayfinder is a welcome opportunity to combine many of my passions into one meaningful job. I am very excited to be able to work so closely with students, and watch them and their children grow and succeed.”
Passages Program Director Martha Kempe says, “We are so thrilled to have Julia join our southern Maine team! She brings many teaching skills and experiences that are a wonderful complement to our dedicated Passages team. Welcome, Julia!”
Posted on Tuesday February 14, 2017
Scenes from our recent Passages workshop in Camden, including making Valentine’s art and Valentine’s cookies!
Posted on Wednesday February 1, 2017
2016 Graduate Breanna Moody will speak at our MARCH 16 (new date!) Open House in Camden. Here’s a speech Breanna made last year, about her experience as a teen mom.
What if one moment in your life dictated the rest of your life? What if the decision you made could haunt you or bring joy to you for the rest of your life? What if regardless of that decision, your life suddenly became harder? I am a teen mother. I am 19 years old and the mother of a happy and healthy one year old. I am not getting into a debate on abortion, because I made a personal decision. This story is what happened when I made that decision.
Yes, I just said I am a happy mother. Let’s go behind the scenes on what it takes to be happy. It just doesn’t appear one day, it has to be earned. It takes blood, sweat, and tears, and an enormous amount of work, energy and sleepless nights to get this way. I made the right decision, but everyone needs to know that being a teen parent is harder than you think.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was a junior in high school. All my priorities consisted of getting through the next year and worrying about who I was going to be after high school. But suddenly, all of those worries seemed so small. When I told my mother I was pregnant, she wouldn’t talk to me for days. She didn’t look at me, she wouldn’t acknowledge that I was in the room anymore or answer me when I was talking. Eventually, I came to realize that my mom’s biggest fear was me failing to succeed. Would I be able to do that with a baby?
I had some work to do. I had to prove my mom wrong. I had to prove myself right. More importantly, I had to ensure this precious little human had all of her needs met. I wasn’t going to fail my baby. I’m not going to fail my baby. Being a teen parent takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The toll it takes on relationships, family and friends is harder than you can ever believe.
When my daughter was two months old, I found out her father was cheating on me. I remember being so scared and hurt because I thought he wanted to try to be a family as much as I did. I remember him telling me that he didn’t choose this and being a dad wasn’t what he wanted. He wasn’t ready to be a dad so young. I remember crying many nights because I wasn’t ready to be a mother at 17 either, but no matter what I had to take responsibility. He made the choice not to stay, and I couldn’t make him. I wouldn’t have left, but I’m not sure I had a choice.
Something they never admit to you in high school is that nothing stays the same forever. Sometimes change is for the better, and sometimes it will tear you apart, but you can’t change it. Being a teen parent is a series of changes, and learning to deal with them is part of growing as a person and a parent.
One of those changes includes responsibility. If you’re anything like me as a teen, your mom took you to your doctor’s appointments until you were 16 and bought you feminine products because you were too embarrassed. But when my daughter was just two weeks old, she became really sick. Of course, being a new parent I didn’t know what to do. I had never had this kind of responsibility before, and all of the sudden it was up me to take care of a little baby that I created. I was beyond scared.
Where were my answers? Where was my support? Where is the easy part of all of this? 1 night in the hospital can change your whole outlook. I needed help. I worked hard to gain the trust and respect back from my family and friends. But being a teen parent is harder than you think, and you don’t always have the support you will desire.
I had some work to do. I worked hard at educating myself on how to take care of a child. I had to become responsible to balance work, life and school. I joined Wayfinder Schools in Passages Program, which became a new support system and a path to success. I constantly balance my schedule around being there for my child, providing for my child, and making myself a productive member of society.
Today’s discussion isn’t a debate on teen pregnancy. It’s not even a talk about decision making. I’m past that. Today is about thinking. Today is about the emotional toll teen pregnancy has on not just the mother, but the father, family and friends. My child and I will grow to be successful, but it is not going to be easy. If I could give any advice to teens who are sexually active, I would say to think. Think about how your actions not only affect you, but everyone around you. Think about what you are giving up and what you are gaining when you are having unprotected sex. Think about your education and goals, and what they mean to you. Having a baby is not a burden, nor is it a mistake, but it can be prevented when you are not ready. Because being a teen parent is harder than you think.
Being in the Passages program has been a wonderful experience for me and Hadley. The support is amazing and all of the staff help you to succeed in any way they can. Before I started this program, I wasn’t sure that I could get the education I needed to be successful, but having people behind you to push you and that believe in you really is an amazing thing. This program has helped me become a productive member of society, become a better mother and a better person overall. I have been involved in the Lullaby Project, have attended many workshops and volunteered thought this program, and I am so thankful to be apart of such an amazing experience.
I want to say thank you to my teacher, Erica Gates, and all of the other wonderful staff who have helped me not only reach my goals, but to go above and beyond what I could ever have dreamed. I also want to thank Erica for the help with transportation and being there when I needed someone most.
Congratulations class of 2016, WE DID IT!
Passage Project: Public Speaking
Breanna worked with a professional public speaker, Tom Dowd, to learn more about what makes effective and memorable speech. She learned about eye contact, gestures, and pacing. Breanna wrote a speech about her experience as a teen parent, emphasizing for teens to think about the consequences before they have unprotected sex. She gave a final presentation, with time for questions and answers, to the class at Zenith Alternative School, in Camden Hills.
Posted on Wednesday February 1, 2017
Posted on Monday January 16, 2017
A wonderful article about 2015 graduate Skye Green and her participation in Maine’s 2016 National Education for Women’s Leadership Conference.
Click on the link below, and then again on the smaller link, to read all about it!
Posted on Thursday December 29, 2016
Happy New Year!
This year we celebrated New Year’s traditions from around the world, including the Puerto Rican tradition of washing away the old year by throwing a bucket of water out the window, and the Chinese tradition of tossing coins for good luck. Check out the full list of traditions we researched (below).
NEW YEAR’S TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD
In China and the Philippines, circles and coins are thrown into a bucket for good luck.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Posted on Thursday December 29, 2016
Another wonderful holiday celebration full of homemade gifts (our tradition here at Wayfinder).
This year students and staff exchanged original artwork, a homemade sign, a colorful banner, a lot of baked goods and even an original song!
Check out the photos below. Warm holiday wishes from all of us at Wayfinder Schools!
Posted on Thursday December 22, 2016
Staff & students ring in the season at Opportunity Farm!
Thank you for all your wonderful support this year! Happy New Year from Wayfinder Schools!
Posted on Thursday December 22, 2016
Scenes from our Washington County Passages Holiday Party