By Carlotta Mohamed
Members of the NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Medical Staff Society recently gave a generous donation of $5,000 to a Brooklyn-based organization that supports and inspires teen mothers.
“It represents leadership,” said Steven Yager, DPM, President of the NYP Queens Medical Staff Society. “Our physicians wanted to recognize an organization that inspires the community.”
Dont4GetMe The Frances Canty Foundation assists teen mothers and mothers-to-be between the ages of 16-23 to reach their full potential as mothers, women, and tomorrow’s leaders. The organization seeks to empower young moms to pursue certifications in healthcare, allowing them to foster careers in the medical field, according to Simone Goss, founder of the organization.
It is the first charity, of hopefully many others, that the New York Presbyterian Queens Medical Staff Society has donated to, according to Yager.
“We are actually inspired by the community, and if the community gets inspired from us…all the better,” said Yager. “We just wanted to do the right thing and maybe others will follow in our footsteps. Hopefully there will be other charities in the future.”
Goss expressed gratitude for the medical staff’s donation that will help provide a Christmas party and gifts for families who live in shelters.
“This passion of mine is because I’ve been through it, so to see other people believe in my vision and to see there is a need for it and want to help is just simply amazing,” said Goss. “I just want to say thank you, thank you again to the doctors at New York Presbyterian. They’re amazing.”
Goss, who was a single teen parent at the age of 16 to her now 21-year-old son, said she named the organization after her foster mother and support system, Frances Canty.
“She raised us like we were own and instilled her values in us,” said Goss. “I was only right to name it after her because her mission in life was to take care of teen moms.”
Although the organization is based in Brooklyn, they’ve seen teen mothers from Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, according to Goss.
Dont4GetMe is currently assisting 25 girls with various workshops such as dress for success, breastfeeding, and dealing with post-partum depression, said Goss.
Their new program, which sends four to five girls to get certification in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, helps the girls gain employment.
“Ninety-nine percent of our girls are homeless and living in shelters, and that’s something that they can have a career in which will open up more doors for them,” said Goss.
As a teen mother, Goss experienced her own trials and tribulations while pursuing an education and a career. She encourages young teen mothers to set and achieve their goals, no matter the circumstances.
“Just because you are in this particular situation that’s not the end will be all,” said Goss. “There’s so much more that you have going for yourself, and so much you can accomplish even with a small child.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha