"When I was pregnant and homeless you weren't trying to help me," said 23 year-old Shdora Massey, referring to the father of her, now, 2 year-old daughter. But she wasn't completely without support.
"Ms. Deb was there every part of the way. She supported me every which way I went. It doesn't matter where I was at. If was in the shelter or if I was in Canandaigua, she was there."
Ms. Deb is Deb Dachille, the nurse home visitor who worked with Massey for more than 30 months. Massey is now one of 26 participants who graduated Thursday from the Monroe County Nurse-Family Partnership.
The partnership steps in to teach and mentor first-time, low-income mothers. Nurses make weekly home visits to help them have healthier pregnancies, support their infant's development, and help them get jobs to support themselves.
"You can move on. You can still stay in school. You can get a job. You can do this. I think that's really important for them to hear. If they get anything out of it, it should be to get empowered to move forward," said Dachille, who calls this the best job she's ever had.
"If we can teach women to be better mothers and better parents, they have healthier children, their family is healthier. This is a program that has reduced the amount of child abuse in the community. It's an evidence based model," said Brooks.
At the Thursday ceremony, MVP Health Care presented the Nurse Family Partnership with a 25 thousand dollar donation.