Young parenthood in California

In 2020, the expected number of pregnant and parenting teens and young women in California could fill both San Jose State and San Francisco State University campuses – but without support, less than 38% of these young women will finish high school, let alone college.

There are expected to be 62,405 pregnant and parenting young women under the age of 22 in 2020 in California (California Department of Health). This is equal to the entire student populations at San Jose State AND San Francisco State  ( Without support, less than 24,000 of these young mothers will graduate high school and less than 2,000 will complete college by age 30.

Why resources for young families are imperative

Pregnancy at a young age diverts a mother’s/family’s resources to caring for a child. Young mothers choose to sacrifice what little opportunities/resources they may have to meet their child’s basic needs, including their high school education and dreams of going to college. In many cases, they do not know what resources are available to them and they do not have a strong community to shoulder the burden of the sacrifices (leaving school, working multiple jobs) they are making for their child. 

Teen Success is the resource and support system they need to reimagine their life with their children. When young families are supported with access and connections to opportunities, they are able to break the cycle of poverty.

Teen pregnancy disproportionately affects young women of color. 2 out of 3 three babies born to teens in California are born to Latinas (National Center for Health Statistics) and low-income teens make up 83% of teens who give birth (California Research Bureau). While the overall teen pregnancy rate in the United States has dropped, there remain communities and neighborhoods where teen pregnancy rates remain high. These are predominantly under-resourced communities of color.

The young women Teen Success, Inc. works with come from low-income communities. 94% of them are women of color and many are from immigrant families. In addition to the challenges and stigma associated with being a young mother, Teen Success, Inc. members are faced with further complexities including housing instability; limited access to healthcare and reproductive health information; emotional and physical violence in their homes, relationships and communities; lack of access to affordable childcare; and racism and discrimination.


Research shows teen mothers who are able to remain connected to their high schools have better long-term economic outcomes for their families, and their children have better behavioral, social, and academic development. Teen Success, Inc. helps its members stay engaged in school, graduate, and persist through post-secondary education.

Education is Teen Success, Inc.’s highest priority for teen moms because it is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Studies show that when a mother attains higher levels of education, the better her children’s educational outcomes will be.

(Source: National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “Why It Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Education,” March 2010.)


Teen Success, Inc. empowers young women who become mothers in their teens to achieve their full potential in school and as parents, so two generations thrive. We believe that education is the key to maximizing each young woman’s potential and making our communities strong. We know that when young mothers are given the right supports and access to opportunities, their families, our neighborhoods, and entire communities are strengthened.

Our two-generation approach involves partnering with young mothers to heal trauma, build skills and a growth mindset, and address the barriers they face to being successful in school and in life. We support young mothers in finding solutions to challenges in order to achieve the following goals:

  • Complete high school and obtain a post-secondary degree or certificate
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to nurture their child’s positive development

With this program, Teen Success, Inc. is creating a pathway out of poverty for two-generations, young mothers and their children. Learn more about the Teen Success, Inc. Program.