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Working & learning

"Working & learning" Continued...

Issue: "Face-off," Aug. 13, 2011

Laura, now the one who has been part of the home the longest, helps welcome the next single mom from chaos into calm. Alicea got a recent helping hand from Laura, when Laura picked up her baby and sent the tired new mom to bed for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. "You don't get support like that anywhere else," Alicea said.

Stephanie, "extremely relieved" to learn of Borromeo, moved in a few weeks later, now nearly a year ago. She hid the pregnancy from her family for nearly 20 weeks. Pressured to place the baby for adoption, she considered it but thought her connection to her baby too strong: "I felt like that was the only person I had."

She initially looked into other housing, but Borromeo's educational opportunities were important to her, since she wanted to be a nurse. Now a licensed Certified Nurse's Assistant, she's hoping to eventually work with mothers.

Alicea also just earned her license as a Certified Nurse's Assistant. She is hoping to eventually proceed through college for a biology degree. From the stability of her new home, Alicea can see possibilities: "I've always wanted to be a doctor. . . . I like taking care of people."

Sally Keyes, a board member for the charity, said parents of the young women often end up accepting their grandchild and repairing the broken relationship, once they see mother and child settled at Borromeo. Her point garnered nods from the three residents in the room, who all have improving contact with their families.

"They come full circle," Keyes said.

-Joel Hannahs is a Virginia journalist; he used only first names to protect privacy

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