To many, teen pregnancy might seem like the end of the world. “It is certainly the end of childhood for the mothers,” explains Sally Kilton, YMHS Teen Parent Advisor. “We support these young parents through their rather quick transition into parenthood.”
This is accomplished in a program that has been developed by the school’s principal Leigh McGown over the past 25 years. At its heart is a nurturing environment where student parents continue their studies in the building where their children are cared for throughout the school day.
“This isn’t just childcare,” explains Laura Carmichael Smith, the school’s social worker and pottery and comprehensive health teacher. “We support these parents in becoming their child’s first teacher, helping them see that their child absorbs everything they do. So we guide them in connecting and playing with their child throughout the school day.”
During parent-child time, cell phones go into a basket. Mothers nurse, bottle or spoon-feed their children and play or read a book. During Teen Parent classes, the students learn about early childhood development, attachment styles, children’s literacy, how to self-soothe and how to manage issues like anger or depression.
They work with Donna Holley, the school’s college advisor / teen parent counselor who helps them plan their next steps beyond graduation, following their interests and applying for scholarships. “We ask students what world they want to live in, and then help them create it for themselves,” Holley says.
“Becoming a parent is a humbling journey in itself,” said April Moon, the school’s student liaison. “Becoming a parent while you are still a child is this tenfold, but our student parents aren’t in it alone.”
LEARN MORE about Yampah Mountain High School.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, Mountain Parent asked photographer Sarah Kuhn to create portraits of these mothers with their children. Learn more about Sarah’s work HERE.
A Guide to Camping Lake Powell With Boats
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Guide to camping at Lake Powell [Part 1]
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Guide to camping at Lake Powell [Part 2]: No Boats Needed
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Ticks in Colorado
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Dream Pool Design Contest
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C-19 & Local Swimming Pools
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Parenting During Turmoil
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MP’s Diversity Booklist
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Summer Camp Planner
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Share this postUp-cycle an empty pet food bag for this easy project.
Roaring Fork Nature Parks
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Mothers Day Tribute
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Share this postA tragic fact of nature? Or way to find your wings?
Good Sports: Lacrosse
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Helping Hands: Lucky Day Animal Rescue
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MP Trail Map: Winter Hut Trips
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Writing By Hand
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Share this postA mother redefines HEALTHY after her daughter’s Leukodystrophy diagnosis
DIY: Upcycled Owl
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Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System
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Share this postMeet local eco-chocolate maker Mark Burrows.
Helping Hands: Roaring Fork Valley Kids Who Care
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Good Sports: Challenge Aspen
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Nighttime Family Staycation
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DIY: Spa Day
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The McBride Internship: Kenya
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Good Sports: Ski Racing
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Share this postGiving the best present of all: Ourselves
Helping Hands: LIFT-UP
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Helping Hands: The Farm Collaborative
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Q&A: Honeybee Play
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Helping Hands: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico
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Getting Into College
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Good Sports: BMX Biking
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Harvest Road Trip
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Helping Hands: Way of Compassion Bike Project
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MP Trail Map: Mount Elbert
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Good Sports: Sailing
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Find Yourself in the Lost Forest
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DIY: Skateboard Swing
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MORE to FIND in the LOST FOREST
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DIY: Portraits of Your Children
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Helping Hands: Colorado Animal Rescue
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Good Sports: Baseball
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Homelife Recipes: Backyard Burgers
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MP Trail Map: Hartman Rocks
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Citizens of the World
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Where to find Wildlife
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The Art of Being ENOUGH
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Yampah Mountain High School’s Teen Parent Program
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LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Roaring Fork Valley Schools
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Good Sports: Soccer
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MP Trail Map: Navajo Rocks
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Helping Hands: Mountain Valley Developmental Services Greenhouse
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Homelife Recipes: Passover Seder
Share this postRabbi Emily Segal of Aspen Jewish Congregation reflects on this sacred meal (and shares her recipe for Matzah crack)
Good Sports: Black Belt
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MP’s Cover Artists: Lily and Elana Royer
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DIY: Chinese New Year Dragon Puppet
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In-person weeklong all-day summer program