Supporting At-Risk Students (Pregnant and Parenting Students)

Dr. Chris Stroble / Published on February 2, 2024

Thank you, North Greenville University, for inviting me to speak to your students who are preparing to be future teachers about supporting at-risk students. I loved sharing with the students and faculty!

My research focuses on helping pregnant and parenting students (teen moms) graduate, and I am the award-winning author of Helping Teen Moms Graduate: Strategies for Families, Schools, and Community Organizations (Feb.15, 2023, Rowman & Littlefield).

Pregnant and parenting students and their children are a group of students who are at risk for academic failure. My presentation focused on Supporting At-Risk Students (Teen Moms and Children of Teen Moms): What Every First-Year Teacher Should Know. 

I started by sharing my Why? Why do I care about pregnant and parenting students? Why do I do the work that I do? Writing books and the organization I founded, Teen Moms Anonymous. It's personal. I am the daughter of a teen mom, and I know not only from research BUT from a lived experience the many Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that teen moms and children of teen moms have faced.

My story mirrors the research. The difference is that I broke the cycle of teen pregnancy, and I've been on a journey of healing from trauma for over 15 years. I am now using what helped me to help other teen moms and children of teen moms live a healthier life. I share my journey in my inspirational memoir, Daughter of a Teen Mom: A Memoir (forthcoming in 2025).

Based on student feedback, my presentation was very informative. Below are some of the takeaways the students noted in their feedback. 

What were your key takeaways from my presentation?

1. How to support at-risk students.

2. How repeated stress activation affects health and overall executive function.

3. The importance of being a safe person for at-risk students and empathizing with them in their struggles/experiences.

4. The medical effects of at-risk students and how to help these students as well.

5. That ACEs affect students in many ways.

6. Students with ACE’s are in need for empathy and patience to be effective teachers to them.

7. We need to be the teacher that we think of as our favorite teacher. Be supportive!

8. Learning the specific ACEs and their educational and physical ramifications.

9. Anger is a secondary emotion and love the kids no matter what.

10. That high-risk students are more prominent than I thought and that high-risk students can have real mental as well as physical wounds.

11. I loved learning about ACEs and how they affect children.

Overall Feedback:

1. I think it was great and very informative! Thank you!

2. I thought it was very helpful to hear tips for both elementary and high school, even though I am a high school teacher.

3. It was great and very informal! Thank you!

4. Very thoughtful and informative.

5. It was really good, thank you!

6. It appeared slightly repetitive.

7. I would love to attend future presentations!

Thank you again, North Greenville University, for having me. I loved sharing with the students and faculty! Click HERE to request me as a speaker at your high school, college, university, conference, organization, or community event.