Young Moms Marin: Redefining What it Means to be a Young Mom

Young Moms Marin (YMM) is an information, resource, and advocacy group for young women ages 15-25 who are parenting in Marin County. The group provides support for its members around a variety of issues including employment, homelessness, domestic violence and financial issues.

YMM seeks to challenge the dominant narrative that young moms are “irresponsible” or “uneducated” while also highlighting the hardships faced by young mothers in a community where they are often invisible. Recently, DataCenter teamed up with YMM to conduct a needs assessment of young parents in Marin County in order to be able to advocate for increased services and programs for young parents.

“It is really hard for young moms in Marin to get childcare, especially when they are going to school.”  — Wendy Calderon, member of Young Moms Marin

Teresa Ashby, a coordinator for Young Moms Marin, explains that “Nobody really knows what young moms are doing, who they are, or how they are surviving — so we decided we wanted to do a survey.”

But this is more than just a survey project — it’s an organizing, capacity-building, movement-generating project. With DataCenter training, the young moms themselves helped craft the survey. They then used the survey as a tool to start conversations and build support with young moms throughout Marin. YMM plans to use the survey results to grow their base, appeal for funding, and advocate for a local services and support a center just for young moms.