Three years ago Ja’niya Jones dropped out of high school after giving birth to her son. But she returned to Baltimore City Public Schools system with support from a re-engagement center, Jones said on Friday morning during a recent resource fair where dozens of students attended. Since returning to the classroom she’s not only the path to graduate but has plans for higher education.
“I’m just very proud of myself for making it this far,” she said. “And conquering all my options in achieving what I thought I could do.”
Baltimore City Public Schools hosted its first Pregnant & Parenting Teen Resource Fair at Excel Academy inside Francis M Wood High school on Friday afternoon. This effort led by the Re-Engagement center strived to connect students to resources such as daycare options, help with re enrolling parenting students in school and assistance with applications like The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children known as WIC.
The students were also able to leave with supplies such as baby wipes, strollers, car seats, diapers and more.
“Our pregnant and parenting students, they want to come to school, but a lot of times they don’t have daycare, a lot of times, they don’t have the support they need,” said Rinata Tanks, coordinator of the Re-Engagement Center and Alternative Program Supports.
Tanks said hosting outreach events like the resource fair is important so students are aware of their options and, “know that we’re here to support them, regardless of what’s going on.”