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Human Services Student Helps Organize Conference for Teens

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student recently organized an educational conference for teen parents attending Lycoming County high schools.

Julie A. Bair, of Linden, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied human services, organized the conference as part of her senior capstone project. The human services capstone, designed to consolidate and synthesize students’ knowledge of human services, requires them to complete an independent case study.

Teens invited to the conference are pregnant or parenting and are enrolled in the Education Leading to Employment and Career Training Program at their respective high schools. The ELECT Program works with pregnant and parenting high school students to assist them with staying in school and, ultimately, graduating.

“I was in the program when I was in high school and went to (a teen-parenting conference), and I had heard that they stopped doing it, so I wanted to try and get it started up again,” Bair said.

Bair who is now 25, raising a daughter and preparing to earn a bachelor’s degree in May was paired with a teen-parenting counselor through the ELECT Program while in high school.

“My teen-parenting counselor was the reason I chose to go into the human services program,” she said. “(She) always seemed to support the decisions I made and seemed to push me to follow through with my goals.”

Bair worked with Kathy E. Carr, ELECT Program coordinator, to offer the event on April 3. The conference included sessions to educate the students male and female on a variety of topics that will impact them and their children for years to come, including nutrition for children, time management, housing, infant safety, child abuse, and information relevant to the job market and college/career choice, offered by the college’s New Choices/New Options program.

In addition, Bair spoke to female participants during lunch about her experiences as a teen mother; a now-adult teen father spoke with participating boys.

“I have learned a lot from doing this conference,” said Bair, who is also completing an internship at the Lycoming County Assistance Office. “It showed me a lot about how to organize an event and helped me get experience with all the things that need to be done for an event.”

She would like to continue working with teen parents after she graduates.

“If not as a job, I would like to volunteer in some way working with teen parents,” she said. “I would like to continue speaking at teen-parenting conferences about my experiences and especially about how important it is for them to get an education.”

To learn more about human services majors and other academic programs offered by the School of Integrated Studies at Penn College, visit online or call 570-327-4521.

For general information about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.