Book of Poetry by Boys & Girls Club Member Captures Emotions and Issues Faced by Teen Moms
Rianna Madden recalls when her teenage sister shared the news with their family that she was pregnant. Although she was a small child, the St. Joan Antida High School Boys & Girls Club member witnessed her sister’s struggles as she tried to balance parenthood with high school. Now age 17, Rianna gives voice to teen moms like her older sister through her book, Being a Mommie Young, thanks to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee’s Argosy Citizenship Award Program.
Since 2004, the Argosy Citizenship Award has recognized and celebrated the Boys & Girls Clubs’ most creative and civically-minded teens, allowing them to share their dreams and accomplishments with the Milwaukee community. To be considered for the award, Club members must be at least 11 years old and at most a junior in high school and have demonstrated leadership and service at their Club. Candidates also had to submit a project proposal and a letter of recommendation from a teacher, employer or relative. Each award winner receives a total of $1,000: a $500 stipend to support his or her education and $500 in seed money to execute his or her community service project.
In addition to receiving the Argosy Citizenship Award winner, Madden’s other Boys & Girls Clubs involvement includes being a 2010 Northwestern Mutual Foundation Youth of the Year honoree, an officer in the Ladies Making a Difference Keystone Club, and part of the Stein Scholars College Prep Program.
This month, Being a Mommie Young was published courtesy of Madden’s grant from the Argosy Foundation. Her next steps are to launch a book tour with speaking engagements. She is selling copies of it for $15 each with all of the funds donated to Lady Pitts, a school and resource center for teenage mothers. The other half of her Argosy Citizenship Award Madden will be applied to her educational expenses at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff this fall.
To write her book, Madden interviewed teen mothers or were sexually active. She talked to them about how their decisions impacted their lives. Madden also wrote poetry from the standpoint of a teen mom. She hopes it will provide a source of encouragement for young mothers and serve as a cautionary warning to others.
To order a copy of Being a Mommy Young, send an e-mail to [email protected] Checks should be made payable to Lady Pitts and mailed to:
Attention: Rianna Madden
St. Joan Antida High School Boys & Girls Club
1341 N. Cass St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee is the oldest and largest youth-serving agency in Milwaukee. It offers after-school and summer programming for children ages 6-18, focusing on those who have major life obstacles, most often poverty. The Clubs operates 38 sites, which include six primary locations, 30 school sites, Camp Whitcomb/Mason in Hartland and an extension site at the Ethan Allen School for Boys in Wales. Membership to the Clubs is only $5 per year, per child, but no one is ever turned away based on inability to pay. For more information, visit the Club’s Web site at www.boysgirlsclubs.org.