Mentoring – Each of our young moms is paired with a trained female mentor, who provides the emotional support, guidance and love to empower her mentee to progress personally and socially during her time with Holy Ground. Our mentors meet regularly – either virtually or in person – with the mothers and their children, offering advice, encouragement, and even transportation when needed. Through this bond with our young families, the mentors become key liaisons between the families and Holy Ground staff, keeping staff apprised of the changing needs of both the mothers and their children.
Tutoring – The children in our Holy Ground family receive one-on-one instruction based on their individual needs through our Learning Tree summer and after-school tutoring program. Our loving tutors provide a safe and fun environment in which the children learn, and also develop their self-confidence.
With input from the children’s schoolteachers, our adult tutors – assisted by standout high school students – identify areas in which each child needs additional assistance, and work with them, patiently helping them to improve.
Besides schoolwork, the children also practice kindness with one another. Each time the children and tutors gather, they have Circle Time, during which the kids share their feelings about what is going on in their lives, and are encouraged to offer kind words to each other.
Academic and Vocational Guidance – Our Vocational Director works individually with each of the young moms in our program to help them achieve both vocational and academic goals, at both the high school and college level. Against the odds, all of our clients complete high school by the time they graduate from Holy Ground’s program (fewer than half of teen mothers obtain their high school diplomas) and then progress to either a two- or four-year college or a vocational program that is suited to their talents and interests.
To guide them toward their vocational and academic goals, we set up tutoring sessions (thanks to DePorres Adult Literacy Center), help them to arrange for standardized testing and to find financial aid (which includes Holy Ground’s own scholarship fund), offer skills testing, and provide assistance with job hunting, resume writing, and interviewing. Once the young women have identified their chosen vocational paths, our Vocational Director continues to guide them as they advance in their careers.
Fr Arthur Obin OMI Scholarship Fund – This fund, established in memory of Fr Arthur Obin OMI, who was one of Holy Ground’s earliest and strongest supporters, is intended to support the continuing education of our young mothers. They are invited to apply for this scholarship through a simple application process. Those who meet the application criteria may use the funds to defray the expenses of class fees, test fees, textbooks, and other educational supplies, for either academic or vocational coursework.
Counseling – Our licensed psychotherapist provides both individual and group counseling sessions. As part of our ACE project (see Adjunct Initiatives), both types of therapy are trauma-informed: therapy sessions are directed by the results of each mother’s ACE assessment.
Holy Ground offers two types of group therapy: Life Skills, a series of monthly training sessions that fill in the gaps in basic knowledge and social interaction that result from these young mothers’ often unstable backgrounds, and Girl Talk, a more informal, facilitated group sharing session, during which the young women are encouraged to open up about the challenges they face and to offer peer-to-peer advice to others facing the same challenges.
Cultural Enrichment – The moms in our program have attended concerts, plays, dances and other performances through our Cultural Enrichment program. For many of them, it was the first time they had ever attended a professional theatrical performance.
Spiritual Development – We offer a monthly, nondenominational breakfast gathering that nourishes our moms both body and soul. It’s a safe space where they can hear from local spiritual leaders and have the freedom to explore their own spirituality. Once a year, we also offer a day-long retreat for the moms.
Financial Literacy Classes – These classes are intended to explain basic financial concepts in an easy-to-understand way in order to motivate these young mothers to manage their limited resources wisely and start saving for the future.
Health and Wellness Classes – These classes inform our young mothers about both their own health issues and those of their children and give them the opportunity to get their questions answered.
Access to Essential Resources – Holy Ground assists not just the mothers in our program, but also vulnerable mothers in the larger community, to locate and access necessary resources, including helpful information and contact numbers.