An Instructional Program For Adolescent Activities

Helping Young Moms Survive
Created by:
J. Nelson Parker, Program Director
Adolescent Health Initiative
Office of Maternal and Child Health
1411 Virginia Street, East
Charleston, West Virginia 25301-3013
(304) 558-5833 FAX (304) 558-2183

The HYMS Program is a voucher system to help pregnant or parenting teens stay in school
by purchasing small items needed for daily living.


When we hear of a pregnant teenager, we hope they have a healthy baby, and we hope they will be able to finish school. The HYMS Program is designed to help pregnant or parenting teens finish school by purchasing small items to take the crisis out of their daily lives. Having swollen feet and not enough money for a new pair of shoes, or not enough money for a box of Pampers to make it through the weekend, can be a major problem while struggling to stay in school.

Most of us would like to help, but we don't know the teenagers, their circumstances, and we don't know of a trustworthy way to handle the money. The HYMS Program provides a structure to enable local civic clubs, women's organizations, church groups, and concerned individuals to donate money to a special account of a local church or a nonprofit organization. The school teacher, who is assigned to work with the students, can write a store voucher for any needed item. The student takes the voucher to a participating local merchant to purchase the items. The merchant later invoices the local church or nonprofit organization where the special HYMS account has been established. Also, if a teacher wants to help a pregnant or parenting teen by paying for a school fee or cost, the HYMS Program can reimburse the teacher through the teacher voucher. The entire effort is focused and controlled at the local level.



The student population to be supported would be all the pregnant and parenting teens within the school system. This would include fathers if they are trying to finish school.


This program should be an ongoing effort of the community. Funds should be raised and maintained within a church account or a nonprofit organization and available during the entire year.


The following documents are provided as attachments to the back of this MODULE and can be freely copied or modified to suit local circumstances.


Not applicable to this module.


To promote the HYMS Program in your community there are many sources of information about teen pregnancy and parenting available. You may call your local Health Department, Family Resource Network, Office of Maternal and Child Health, West Virginia Children's Task Force, or consult the Adolescent Health Profile. Your main source will be the designated teacher you will be working with while setting up this program.


Attached is a camera-ready logo that may be used to print flyers for distribution to churches, schools, and groups you hope will support the HYMS Program. Always include the proper credits in any promotional material. These are found on the title page of this module.

Ideas for promoting the HYMS Program in school include:

Ideas for promoting the HYMS Program at the participating stores are:

Ideas for promoting the HYMS Program at the sponsoring church/group are:

Ideas for promoting the HYMS Program in your community are:


At the end of a full school year, evaluate how well the HYMS Program has worked to support students. An important part of any program is evaluating how to create continued improvement. Also, a financial report to the church or the nonprofit organization must be prepared for their yearly tax reporting. Although not a requirement, the Adolescent Health Initiative, Office of Maternal and Child Health, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health would be very interested in your evaluation as an ongoing monitoring of HYMS Programs. Mail your evaluations to: