Nightly News

Nightly News   |  May 03, 2012

Teen moms find support to attend college

The nonprofit Generation Hope is helping young moms afford a college education. NBC's Chris Jansing reports.

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>>> finally tonight, as promised, a story about women reaching out to help younger women at a time when they need it most. this is about moms helping new moms get off to the right start to best provide for their children, making a difference for both generations. a report from nbc's chris jansing .

>> jennifer ramirez also helped she would be the first person from her family to graduate from college. then she got pregnant when she was just 15.

>> i ahad all these emotions going through myself. i didn't know what i was going to do.

>> unwilling to let her dream die, she had her baby, graduated from high school , and is now at the university of maryland . it was often overwhelming, classes, work, raising jordan without a dad. then just when jennifer needed it most, generation hope came to the rescue.

>> positives can occur out of uncertain circumstances.

>> this past fall, she was 1 of seven young malls who were given scholarships up to $2400 and matched with mentors. jennifer 's mentor, suzanna simpson has a son almost the same age, and he's always there for advice.

>> i see jennifer in our family's future for a long time.

>> she's like a second mother to me.

>> it's those relationships far more than the money that are the driving force behind generation hope. the brainchild of nicole lynn lewis.

>> good job.

>> a teen mom herself, she worked hr way through the college of william and mary in four years.

>> now i had this college degree that was going to allow me to provide my daughter with a life that i would never have been able to provide her with.

>> she wanted to help others like her beat the odds. nearly 30% of teenage girls in the u.s. will get pregnant, and if you have a baby before you're 18, your chances of graduating college by 30 are minuscule. less than 2%.

>> it's early, but all the teens in generation hope are on their way to a degree. and nicole plans to expand the program to help teen dads, too.

>> it's not so much about what has happened but it's about what are you going to do now?

>> jennifer will graduate later this month. she always knew she could do it, but thanks to nicole and suzanna, she didn't have to do it alone.

>> everything -- you take the good and bad and make it great.

>> chris jansing , nbc news.