The Synergy Spotlight
Shining a light on the people and programs powered by your support.
Supporting Teen Parents Creates Positive Ripple 
While only 40% of teen moms nationally will graduate from high school, all the young parents participating in Synergy's TPS program last year were high school graduates or on track to graduate. Four were enrolled in community college.
The statistics for teens parents and their children paint a grim picture. Nationally, only about 40% of teens who become pregnant will finish high school. Data also indicates that children born to teen parents are more likely to live in poverty and suffer higher rates of abuse and neglect. 

It's not hard to connect the dots. Teens that do not finish school have seriously limited employment opportunities and frequently struggle to care for their children--often with significant costs for the community.  Synergy's teen parent support (TPS) program is designed to help young parents finish school and develop practical parenting skills.
 
"Giving teen parents support to both stay in school and cope with the stresses of parenthood makes sense on so many levels," says Jennifer Vernon, director of family care for Synergy. "Early intervention gives young families the best chance to create a safe and stable home, and that provides a positive ripple effect for the whole community."

Last year, 25 teen moms and dads and their children benefited from Synergy's TPS program. Your support makes programs like these possible! Please consider a gift this month to support a young family that Synergy serves!
Sarah's Story
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When caring adults and supportive families aren't available to vulnerable teens, stable housing and supportive services mean the difference between life on the streets or the ability to pursue a dream.
Sarah* first came to Synergy as a teen in need of housing when it wasn't safe to stay in her family home. She remained connected with Synergy over the next year while attending high school and knew she could turn to Synergy for help when she became pregnant. 

Sarah started participating in the Teen Parent Support (TPS) program and found comfort and strength in connecting with other pregnant and parenting teens and caring staff who helped her figure out how to stay in school and maintain a healthy pregnancy. When her daughter was born in April 2016, Sarah felt prepared.

When housing became unstable for Sarah and her daughter, she again turned to Synergy for help. Thankfully there was an opening in our housing program for young families, and Sarah and her daughter were placed in an apartment.  With a handle on their basic needs, Sarah could focus on getting a part-time job and continuing her education to create a sustainable future. She continued to attend TPS meetings and encouraged the father of her daughter to attend as well so they could co-parent successfully. 

"It was a joy to watch Sarah's confidence grow as she developed her parenting skills and inspired her peers with her positive attitude and presence," said Amy Coe, a parent aide for Synergy's TPS program. "She and her daughter are thriving and we are so proud to have played a role in giving them a path to a brighter future."

Sarah recently left the program to move to Joplin and continue her education at Missouri Southern University.  

*Name changed to protect privacy
News & Events
Sip, Savor & Support Art                   Celebrating Kindness
It's not too late to get your ticket for the 5th annual Art Soup sponsored by Synergy's Junior Board! Join us this Sunday to sip cocktails & enjoy mingling, savor soup from local chefs, and support the art and music therapy programs in the Blitt Family Creative Arts Center at Synergy's YRC. All participants take home a souvenir bowl created by a Synergy youth!

Collaboration is Key 
So excited to receive the 2018 Partner of the Year Award from the Park Hill School District! Superintendent Dr. Jeanette Cowherd (left) presented the award to Synergy's executive director Robin Shanberg Winner and associate executive director Dr. Dennis Meier. 

Parkville Chamber Gala
What a fun night at the Parkville Chamber g ala! Our thanks to all for their generosity in supporting 
Synergy as this year's charity of choice! Your donation means we can be there to provide safety and support for so many who have nowhere else to turn.

The Alarming Facts about Teen Dating Violence
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month and a great time to talk with the teens in your life about healthy relationships. Sadly, one in three teens that date will experience some form of unhealthy behavior in their dating relationship. Our STOP! Violence program in area schools helps teach teens the skills they need to form healthy and safe relationships. Please join us in keeping teens safe and talk with the teens in your life about healthy relationships! Click here to learn more!

We are excited to announce that  Christy & Bill Gautreaux and  Anita Gorman have been selected as Honorary Stars for the
28th Annual Kindest Kansas Citian Awards. Each year, Synergy celebrates the power of kindness to create safer and stronger families and communities by recognizing community leaders alongside individuals nominated by students from throughout the metro. 

Our thanks to the 50+ volunteers who read through nearly 5,000 submissions to our Kindest Kansas Citian essay contest this year! The 20 students they selected will be celebrated alongside their nominee and with our Honorary Stars at the Kindest Kansas Citian gala on the evening of May 4, 2018 at the Kansas City ZooJoin us for this heartwarming evening to celebrate the kindness that makes our community so great!

Senator Blunt Visits Synergy
What an honor to have Senator Roy Blunt and his family visit our Children's Center to speak about the opioid crisis and its effect on local families. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, new foster care cases involving parents who are using drugs have reached their highest point in three decades.  We are grateful for the Senator's leadership to increase resources for programs directly targeting the opiod epidemic. 

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