Two women are first to graduate from Pima County’s support program for young moms


Hannah Saunders


On March 9th, two young mothers became the first to graduate from Pima County’s support program for young moms, Adult Identity Mentoring (AIM) 4 Teen Moms. The program is available to mothers ages 14-20 who are parenting a child under the age of two.

The 12-week program encourages young mothers to create a path towards achieving their goals while providing teenage mothers the resources they need to succeed. The program helps participants envision a successful future, and identifies strengths and resources needed for success. It also assists women with building effective communication skills, and consists of six individual sessions and two group sessions for mothers.


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An intimate ceremony was held on graduation day for Marisol Rangel, 18, and Cristina Sanchez, 17. 

“AIM 4 Teen Moms helped me focus on me as a person,” Rangel said. “This class showed me how to stand up and get right on my feet again when I hit rock bottom.”

According to Healthy Children, teenage parents may experience feelings of isolation, unpreparedness, and anxiety about the future. The organization also states that young mothers are less likely to graduate from high school or go to college, which may create negative impacts on their and their child’s futures. 

Additional challenges arise with finding high-quality and affordable childcare while juggling education and work. It may also be difficult to find and maintain employment opportunities that fit around school and parental responsibilities.

In 2020, the Pima County birth rate was 19.9 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19, which was the second lowest rate in the state. That year, Coconino County had 14.1 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19, while Gila County had the highest birth rate at 44.3. The US birth rate in 2020 was 19.0 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19.

“With AIM 4 Teen Moms, we really strive to help our moms see their motherhood as a strength,” said Jessica Dalton, who oversees AIM 4 Teen Moms. “We do a lot of goal-setting with them so they can think about their future, about the career they want and how they’re going to get there.”

Rangel and Sanchez are looking to pursue careers in dentistry and construction.