Starting in August 2001, The Catholic Charities of Santa Fe trained 20 community volunteers to mentor 18 teens during their pregnancies, birthing and the first year of their babies' lives under a project called MentorMoms.
New Mexico has the nation's fifth highest teen birth rate at 18 percent, exceeding the national average by 5 percent.
The project was aimed at enhancing and expanding an earlier pilot project, the Teen Parent Support Project.
- Project staff recruited, trained and supervised 20 volunteer mentors, some of whom had been teen mothers.
- During the project year, there were no reports of child abuse or neglect among participants.
- None of the teens became pregnant a second time.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided partial support for this project with a grant of $35,000 between August 2001 and June 2003. (See the Appendix for other funders.)