During the past four years, Maureen MacMackin has volunteered by providing guidance and support to teen mothers in Boulder, Colorado. She works to help them graduate from high school and pursue higher education. MacMackin is a volunteer with the YWCA of Boulder County’s Teen Parent Graduation Project, which is collaboration with the Fairview High School Teen Parent Program.
MacMackin’s involvement with the Graduation Project stems from her concern and desires to help young women facing multiple challenges. She recognizes the significant responsibilities that teen endure as parents when trying to complete high school. She admires their ability to perform their everyday tasks such as taking care of their children while getting ready to catch an early morning bus to school. She is also sensitive to the hurt they feel when frequently ostracized by their peers and even their own families.
She shares in roundtable discussion groups where mentors and teen mothers explore issues such as the challenges of parenting and future goals. She introduces them to career paths and helps them to understand the educational requirements for each. She has invited program participants to her place of employment to learn about various career options in the banking industry and how they can become prepared for these various opportunities.
MacMackin has also set up mock interviews for the participants. This helps to develop their interviewing skills and build their confidence. In addition, she continues to assist by helping to find them employment.
Because of MacMackin’s volunteer service, she is demonstrating to teen parents that there are people available to help them in achieving their goals. In many cases, teen mothers do not receive support from their parents or the fathers of their children; therefore, she is providing much needed encouragement. Her program also gives the young women and opportunity to support each other.
MacMackin has been working with the Graduation Project for the past four years. Since that time, the graduation rate among participants has increased from 10 percent to 47 percent for the participants in the Project. MacMackin’s work has been a factor in this dramatic increase.