Teen parenting centre celebrates 25 years

When Kerri Scholz found out she was pregnant, she thought she had to quit school and look for a job. It was in the F.H. Collins Secondary School counsellor’s office that she was told about the Teen Parent Centre.

When Kerri Scholz found out she was pregnant, she thought she had to quit school and look for a job.

It was in the F.H. Collins Secondary School counsellor’s office that she was told about the Teen Parent Centre.

“The centre worked with me during my debilitating pregnancy sickness and allowed me to do course work by correspondence at home,” she said in an email.

“(Founding director May Gudmundson) was the best support, as she was caring yet didn’t allow us to become lazy or not get our work done. She motivated us to keep moving ahead.

“This is what made me try harder to finish.”

At 17, Scholz had her daughter and she continued attending classes at the centre.

They were able to have lunch together as they were only a few rooms apart.

Scholz said the daycare workers were crucial in supporting and encouraging her to complete high school.

“I was very proud and I know they were too, along with my parents and family, when I walked on stage to get my diploma that sunny day in June of 1993,” she said.

Scholz persevered and obtained two certificates from Yukon College: one in business administration and one in tourism and management.

Now a cabinet policy assistant in the executive council office, she began working for the Yukon government 15 years ago.

“The centre helped me get where I am today,” she said.

In Canada, teenage mothers are 17 per cent less likely to complete high school than their peers.

Since 1989, the Teen Parent Access to Education Society has been supporting young men and women in Whitehorse who want to finish their education while expecting or parenting.

It’s celebrating its 25th year by holding a fundraising dinner on Nov. 7 at the Teen Parent Centre School.

The centre, which opened in 1990, welcomes people up to the age of 21.

Over the years the society has supported more than 1,000 students and has taken care of over 400 children in the daycare.

Teacher and director Kathy Heinbigner, who has worked at the centre for eight years, said students often refer to it as a second home.

“We do very much try to create that atmosphere,” she said.

“The centre helps stabilize lives. We’re giving them the tools to move on in life.”

Currently there are 13 students on the books and three children at the daycare, even though they’re licensed for up to 19 children. The number of students fluctuates during the year.

Heinbigner estimates she’s had between 28 and 30 students annually over the past several years.

Charlotte Robert is a student who attends the centre with her one-year-old son.

She said she has a great relationship with the staff and feels like she can tell them anything.

“It’s also nice that it doesn’t cost anything,” she said.

“I want to get my education so I can find a career.”

All the services offered are free, including a hot lunch every day.

The society has been accessing funding from the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program for 15 years, Heinbigner said. Through that funding, they’re able to hire a part-time nurse.

The Department of Education provides the funding to hire a remedial tutor.

The Teen Parent Access to Education Society is holding its fundraiser dinner event on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m., at the Teen Parent Centre School.

Tickets are $80 per person, which includes a $40 tax-deductible receipt. Those interested in attending can call Kathy Heinbigner at 667-3421. Seating is limited to 42 people.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 21, 2020

Movie poster for <em>Ìfé,</em> a movie being shown during OUT North Film Festival, which includes approximately 20 different films accessible online this year. (Submitted)
OUT North Film Festival moves to virtual format

In its ninth year, the artistic director said this year has a more diverse set of short and feature films

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Most Read