Keynote Presenter Destiny Graham
Destiny Graham, 18, is the mother of a beautiful two year old boy. Destiny joined Belen GRADS in the fall of 2014. During the spring of her senior year, she represented NM Teen Parents in conjunction with Young Women United at a Young Parents Dignity congressional briefing that was sponsored by Senator Udall, in Washington DC. Destiny graduated with honors from Belen High School in 2016. She often volunteered to tutor GRADS and Child development students who were struggling in Math, including those with special needs. It was while doing this, she discovered she has a passion for teaching, and decided to pursue a degree in Mathematics with the goal of becoming a high school math teacher. She began attending New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in the fall of 2016 and finished her first semester on the Dean’s list. She is a strong advocate for teen parents, as she knows the struggles and negative perceptions that young parents often face.
Mother Tongue Project
Engaging teen mothers with sophisticated literacy education, resources, and relationships is urgent work in New Mexico—where teen-birth and childhood-poverty rates are the highest in the U.S., and literacy proficiency, educational attainment, and child-wellbeing metrics are painfully low. Mother Tongue Project addresses these linked issues at the point of teen parenthood through relevant, relationship-based, critical reading and writing instruction for young mothers. Based at Capital High School in Santa Fe, Mother Tongue Project offers three integrated programs: a standards-based 11th and 12th-grade academic English class with an experience-relevant curriculum; an in-class library collection; and 1:1 mentorship pairing in which current students are paired with former teen mothers who hold college degrees and pursue successful lives. www.MotherTongueProject.org