RVABasics: Helping Young Families Thrive

Our site coordinators are the heart of our organization.  They make a big difference in the lives of our students on a daily basis and we love sharing their first hand stories.  Please enjoy the following story from our Carver College & Career Academy Coordinator, Jennifer Hilliard.


“On the invitation of School Board Member Carrie Coyner, Carver College & Career Academy sent four students who are either parents or expecting soon to hear Harvard University researcher Dr. Ronald Ferguson speak about the opening of RVABasics.

​RVABasics is a new initiative to share with parents, child care providers, and others who work with young children. The program incorporates five basic components necessary to increase an infant or toddler’s chance to thrive regardless of socioeconomic status.

The students enjoyed a great breakfast before speaking with Dr. Ferguson directly about the topic on which he was presenting.

​The moms took copious notes throughout the presentation.  They really thought about what Dr. Ferguson was sharing.  Afterward, the four ladies talked frankly and honestly about the challenges of young motherhood, as well as the joys.  Each student was able to articulate something they learned from Dr. Ferguson that they would incorporate into their parenting.

Our expectant mother said, “I learned that my baby (at 6 months’ gestation) can hear my voice, so I need to talk more.”

One mom said, “I learned that you cannot spoil a baby and that I need to pick my son up more.”

The young women shared their contact information with each other so that they can support the expectant mother when she gives birth in August.  As one mother of a 15 month old said to her, “It’s going to change your life. It’s going to be hard…but it’s worth it and if I can do it, you can too.”

​Thank you, Carrie Coyner, for providing this opportunity!  It was incredible!”

For more information about RVABasics, please visit their Facebook page and be sure to give them a “like”.

“It’s going to change your life. It’s going to be hard…but it’s worth it and if I can do it, you can too.”