‘A Huge Relief for Me’
Amber Laster hadn’t planned on motherhood at the age of 16. But when her son Jabari was born, she had no plans to quit school, either. Only 50 percent of teen mothers end up with a high school degree, and Amber intended to be one of them.
She enrolled in Chicago’s Simpson Academy, the only public school for pregnant girls and teen mothers in Illinois, which has a graduation rate of more than 90 percent. But what about Jabari? Amber couldn’t afford daycare, and she desperately wanted to stay in school.
That’s where The Salvation Army stepped in, providing a nearby childcare center for Simpson’s students. The Salvation Army’s certified caretakers staff three rooms for infants and one for toddlers.
For young moms like Amber, it’s a blessing.
“This service is a huge relief for me,” she says. “I know that while I’m in school, Jabari will be well-taken care of, so I can really focus on my education.” She says her son is thriving, and “loves the Salvation Army staff. He smiles all the time and blows kisses.”
Amber plans to attend college and someday become an executive chef. In the meantime, she’s extremely grateful to The Salvation Army — and to you — for cooking up a recipe for her, and for Jabari, to succeed.