For over 20 years, a partnership with the State of Illinois has enabled Options for Youth to run the Illinois Subsequent Pregnancy Program (ISPP), one of the most effective programs for pregnant and parenting teens in the United States. Through our program, over 5,000 young mothers from 50 communities have graduated from high school and achieved self sufficiency before deciding to have a second child.
On September 18, we learned that our funding of $292,000 from the Illinois Department of Public Health was cut due to changing priorities. While Options for Youth is not shutting down, ISPP accounts for half of our time, funding and efforts.
Adding urgency to the situation, 150 teen mothers under the age of 18 and their babies started their yearlong journey in ISPP in July. Due to the drastic and sudden cut of state funding, these 150 girls and their babies will not be able to finish the program unless we can replace our lost funding.
We’ve made progress over the last 20 years, but our work is not done. Please donate and spread the word to help young mothers and their babies create options for their futures.