Many young mothers find themselves confronting challenges that are both social and economic.

A stigma surrounding teen pregnancy, as well as isolation from friends, can take a toll emotionally, while barriers such as access to child care and education make earning a living difficult.

One Syracuse mother is hoping to make a difference by launching a support group Saturday that she hopes will provide young mothers like her with an outlet to share challenges and solutions.

What You Need To Know

  • Young Mama is a support group for young mothers to come together to share experiences and foster a community together

  • It is hosted by Assata Bey, a young mother, at Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center at 2331 South Salina Street

  • The group will meet from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sat., July 23.

Assata Bey is a community-based doula at Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center. The center aims to end preventable death and illnesses in Black, African and indigenous communities in Syracuse.

Now, Bey is aiming to help young moms like herself share experiences and resources.

“There’s a lot of energy around young moms. It’s not always positive. There’s a lot of speculation about how good of a mom you’re gonna be, what that’s going to look like,” Bey said. “I personally love being a mom. It’s amazing to just see a life that I created grow up and walk, and start talking and interacting with other people.”

The support group is called "Young Mama," and the first meeting will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 23 in the Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center, 2331 South Salina St.

“I think community is so important, and it’s not valued in the way that it should be,” she said of her motivation to start the group. “As human beings, we’re not meant to do it alone. Having someone to be like, 'Yes, I’ve been through that; yes, I’m still here.' I think that’s super important.”

She said being a young mother presents a multitude of challenges, from negative stigmas to difficulty finding child care, to finding themselves unable to receive aid if they choose to move back in with their parents if the parents earn above a certain threshold.

For all of the problems, she hopes the group will offer an opportunity to share solutions.

“That’s why community is even more important,” she said. “To be like, 'Hey, can you watch my baby,’ or ‘Can you sit with my baby while I do this,’ or something, just really trying to branch out to have more support.”

To anyone who is in need of help but reluctant to join, she had some encouraging words.

“Come. I know there are always different types of people in support groups, someone who wants to talk during the whole thing, while other people want to sit and listen, and both types of people are welcome. I really just want the group to be whatever is needed. I want to be able to give.”