Graduations are bittersweet. They signal the end of a season of life – and also a special time to recognize a milestone accomplished.
In the first seven weeks of 2020, we have celebrated the graduation of eight moms from our LifeSteps parenting program. Collectively over the last 2 ½ years, these moms and their coaches have invested 355 hours of one-on-one time – an average of about 45 hours each. As our LifeSteps director Kim Jones likes to say, “It’s like attaining an Associate’s Degree in parenting.”
Graduation from our LifeSteps program is a joy-filled time to celebrate for our coaches and our clients. It’s also an emotional one. Reflecting on one graduation just last week, our LifeSteps assistant director Renee Eiland shared that the client being honored said she “couldn’t have done it without her coach and was completely bawling by the time it was over.”
Graduation also typically marks the recognition of a dramatic transformation. Most moms enter LifeSteps overwhelmed by an unexpected pregnancy and feeling ill-equipped to be a parent. Each mom is paired with a coach, and together they customize a training plan from over 150 lessons to best meet her needs. In the months that follow, each mom gains confidence from knowing their coach, and the Lord, are with them. All the while, they gain information and skills on topics ranging from pregnancy expectations and breastfeeding to child development, relationship health and marriage, if appropriate.
One recent LifeSteps grad shared, “This program has been wonderful. I’ve learned so much. Even though I’ve been a school teacher for four years, worked in pre-schools and babysat a lot – it’s still different when it’s your own child and you have them 24/7.”
When we survey moms at the start of the program about what’s most valuable to them, most say it’s material items they are earning: maternity and baby clothes, a crib, car seat, diapers and more. However, within a year, it’s the client’s relationship with their parenting coach that is most cherished, followed by the parenting education they are gaining and then the resources they earn.
While moms are often sad to leave, graduates are also always encouraged to attend our bi-weekly LifeSteps Bible Study, where one new mom made a decision for Christ within the last month!
Because of your support, this transformational impact in the lives of our LifeSteps moms is possible. Thank you!
To God be the glory,
President | CEO