VIsion Statement: Growing Pains Compassion Outreach Mission is to engage in educational activities with teen and young parents living in at-risk environments to encourage them to become their best self as a parent, student in school, home and life.
Growing Pains was birthed out of a need for unconditional love, understanding and support. The seed that planted Growing Pains was witnessing the struggles of young parents as they received little family support and were forced to give up their education.
This seed is what began the pilot program eleven years ago, March 2008, and what has continued to grow and serve an increasing number of families. What began in high schools and continuation schools, has grown into small groups and long standing relationships with continued support for those that desire it.
The rooted values of love, compassion and encouragement are not only what began Growing Pains, but are also what have sustained it. The dedication to valuing life and loving each individual that interacts with the organization is what sets us apart. We meet people where they’re at without an agenda, and walk with them for as long as they’d like. These are still the values we hold today.
Growing Pains is changing the very culture of a family through empowering young mothers and fathers to create healthy environments for their children and to set a good example by finishing school and continuing to improve the quality of their lives.
Meet the Growing Pains Team
Susan Fudge, Executive Director
While volunteering at a food bank in 2007, I encountered a pregnant teenage girl I knew from the past. Recognizing the hurdles she faced, I felt compelled to “do something” for her and others like her.
This encounter led to the start up of Growing Pains, a program designed to provide support and be a resource to teen parents - both moms and dads - in their unique situations, with love and compassion.
Juanita Braunwalder, Director
I have been serving with Growing Pains for 10 1/2 years. I started as a childcare volunteer for the students and after about 6 months began helping in the classroom with the students.
I got started with Growing Pains because I have a heart for service. After volunteering I realized how much I wanted to be a part of these young parents and to encourage them as they walk this journey of being a parent as a teen.
I’ve been serving with Growing Pains for 9 months now. I got started with Growing Pains because I have a heart for young parents and have a desire to help them in any way I can. I’m a part of the Montclair classes and Sierra Vista classes.
Susan brought me into the program when it was first located at Valley View High School. I have been involved for about 9 years. My role in the beginning was to help with the children and the moms, whatever their needs were at the time. But now I help lead the young men with all their needs.
I have been involved with Growing Pains for 9 years. I first became involved as a speaker for domestic violence but soon after developed friendships and have mentored several of the girls on their journey through life. Since my day job has changed in the last few years it has given me the flexibility to be a full time leader at Sierra Vista.