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Sydell’s Courage to Dream

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At New Moms, we often meet young moms when they have experienced a significant loss in their life. They have lost a close loved one who was a key support person for them, a job that helped sustain them, or even a home. And sometimes the loss is not tangible — like the loss of direction or purpose in life, the loss of a dream, or the loss of feeling safe.

New Moms exists to create possibility in these times and spaces of life that feel overwhelmed by loss. We believe that each young mom we partner with has the potential to rise up and take powerful steps to heal and accomplish their dreams.

YOU are an important part of a community that invests to make this happen.

Sydell came to New Moms after experiencing some devastating blows. She had lost several loved ones to illness and violence. In her grief, she dropped out of high school, unable to focus on her studies. And after re-enrolling for her senior year, she discovered she was pregnant. Embarrassed, she hid her pregnancy from classmates, and even from her mother for a time. She felt overwhelmed and isolated.

Then a friend introduced her to New Moms. Her New Moms coach, Jasmine, became the support system she needed to find small rays of hope. The birth of her daughter, Sophia, became a beautiful experience.

“I never pictured myself having a kid until I had her,” she said. “It was crazy. I didn’t think I was going to cry when I had her. [But] I cried when I had her because it was like ‘wow’ I really have a baby. It’s real.”

Sydell’s life story was not what she expected. She now found a new motivation, as a mother to Sophia, to grow and pursue her dreams.

And with support from New Moms, she is doing just that.

Sydell is proud of how she has matured while at New Moms. She is working on controlling negative feelings by processing her emotions in positive and healthy ways – she wants Sophia to grow up in a peaceful home and see her mom as a role model for dealing with her own negative emotions. Sydell has also engaged in her passion of writing screenplays and is currently working on a film that is based on her own experience, and the experiences of other young moms. She said her dream is to one day win an Oscar.

But most immediately, Sydell plans to find a new job – she lost her job at Jewel-Osco because of the pandemic – so she can start saving money for college. She wants to pursue her passion for storytelling by studying writing, but is considering becoming an EMT to better support her family financially. She is also preparing to get her driver’s license, which would increase her ability to gain employment and decrease commuting time. All these concrete steps will help Sydell achieve her long-term goals.

New Moms helped Sydell find possibility in the midst of loss. We are a place where young moms, like Sydell, can surround themselves with a supportive community. With this extra support, their dreams move toward reality.

Sydell felt so welcomed and loved by the New Moms community that she has referred five other young moms to the program! Her coach, Jasmine, said Sydell is a true advocate for her peers. As she embraced her own potential, she has encouraged other young moms to do the same, saying: “Everybody needs to follow their dreams no matter what […] There’s always a way to get what you want.”

When you give to New Moms, you join this community that makes homes, jobs, healing, and growth possible! You invest in young moms, who are leading the next generation of youth, so that they can build strong families and become the life force of beautiful communities.

As we approach the end of 2020, I have been reflecting on how critical it is to lean into a community for support and love – especially amid so much uncertainty and unexpected loss. Throughout the pandemic, our young moms have lost jobs, childcare, access to essential services and supplies, loved ones, and more. Through it all, New Moms has been there—providing rental assistance, job search support, emergency food, and hygiene supplies. We have had to make significant changes to our programs to ensure we can continue providing the high-quality services that have been a lifeline for many of the families we serve.

So now, I am leaning on you to ensure that we can continue to support young moms like Sydell. We need to raise $120,000 by December 31, 2020. If we don’t meet this goal, we will have to consider how to downsize our programs in order to remain stable. Last year we served 846 young moms and children – we don’t want to serve fewer families this year in a time when they need support more than ever.

In this crucial year of need, would you consider giving again so we can continue to provide essential services to families?

Your generosity fuels our hope. Your faithfulness to the mission of New Moms truly changes the lives of two generations of youth. YOU are a critical part of New Moms community – and we cannot do this without you.

With love,

Laura Zumdahl, Ph.D.
President & CEO

P.S. New Moms is a 501c3 so all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The 2020 CARES Act allows for greater charitable donation deductions, please consider this when making a gift to New Moms in order to maximize the impact you can have on our mission and young families. Contact your tax advisor for further information.