14340 Bolsa Chica Road, Unit C, Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 894-5450
(714) 894-5424
The 911 for Kids Kathy Ireland’s “IGNITE” Mentor Program
provides economically and educationally challenged abandoned single-teen mothers ages 12-19 years of age, the companionship, guidance and support of caring mentors and others without the social stigma and isolation associated with out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy and it related complications. In this supportive and therapeutically designed community, teen mothers are able to leave behind their worlds of secrecy and despair. Through acceptance and trust, teens, their mentors, workshop leaders, speakers and volunteers can freely talk about out-of-wedlock pregnancy and single-parenting and openly express feelings, however angry, hopeless and depressed in a non-judgmental atmosphere.
RATIONALE FOR PROGRAM
The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate among developed countries. Close to 1 million teens become pregnant each year. Ninety-five percent of those pregnancies are unintended. About one-third will end in abortion; one-third will end in spontaneous miscarriage; and one-third will continue their pregnancy to term and keep their baby.
  • Less than 40 percent of teen mothers finish high school.
  • 1 in 4 teen mothers will have their second child within 2 years of the first one.
  • Almost half of all teen mothers end up on welfare.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
IGNITE matches professional businesswomen as mentors and role models to teen mothers. Many of the teens who participate in the IGNITE successfully transition into responsible adults, gain new hope and aspirations, and learn responsible parenting. Many receive high school diplomas, have gone on to trade school and/or 2 and 4 year colleges, and some have completed professional and postgraduate degrees.
WHEN WAS the PROGRAM STARTED AND WHO STARTED IT?
Kathy Ireland (CEO, Kathy Ireland Worldwide and International Ambassador of 911 for Kids) and Elise Kim (Executive Director of 911 for Kids) created the Kathy Ireland Mentor Program for single teen mothers (“IGNITE”) in 1990 in collaboration with non-profit public safety education organization 9-1-1 for Kids. IGNITE received the Governor’s Crystal Star Award in 1996. Since its inception, over 1,000 teen mothers have been served through IGNITE.
WHERE DO THE TEEN MOTHERS COME FROM?
Southern California state, county and city agencies and schools as well as faith-based organizations and other community-base programs that serve and house teen mothers.
WHERE DO THE MENTORS COME FROM?
Mentors are exemplary women community leaders. Many are business owners, executives and managers coming from: corporations and businesses; colleges and trade schools; faith-based organizations; service clubs and other community groups.
QUICK FACTS
Founded: 1990
Number of Teen Mothers Served Since 1990: 1,080
Mentor Matches per Year: 50-70
Age of Teen Mothers: 12-19 years of age
Ethnic Profile: 82% Hispanic /14 % African-American / 3% White / 1% Pacific Islanders

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES

A turn-key community event supporting disenfranchised teen-mothers

  • Six interactive workshops: Infant & Child Healthcare, Nutrition and Parenting; Mom’s Preventive Healthcare; Education & Career Planning/Workforce Readiness; Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Prevention; Household & Time Management and Finance; Mental & Emotional Wellness/Building healthy Relationship & Avoiding Toxic Ones.
  • Welcome Breakfast: Mentor & Mentee Orientation and Training and Mentor Matching
  • Discovery luncheon – where the teen mothers will have the opportunity to hear from former teen mothers who made the long journey to healthy and independent adulthood
ABOUT IGNITE
IGNITE is free of charge to single teen mothers referred or sponsored by social service-welfare agencies, community organizations and schools, however each year the demand for our services continues to grow as more and more young women are impacted by teen pregnancy.
IMPACT OF IGNITE
Each Teen Mother Receives:
  • A year-long mentor who will help to inspire her and turn her dreams into reality
  • Academic and Career Planning Guidance
  • A complete make-over
  • A new business outfit and other practical apparel and footwear
  • A comprehensive resource binder with valuable safety and parenting information
  • A tote filled with personal goods, hygiene & grooming supplies
  • A gift bag for infant and toddler (filled with hygiene, feeding, bathing, changing supplies + toys & books)
  • Car seat for her infant-toddler
  • Day Planner and other time management tools
  • Practical support for public transportation, books and school related assistance
  • Empowerment information to help her face some of life’s difficult decisions