First Choice: Ask for Help
Resource center helps parents make the right decisions for themselves and their children
Saturday, April 12, 2014 5:00 AM
When Chatnee Myric found out she was pregnant, she was terrified.
Chatnee Myric talks about the struggles she has had as a single mom as well as the help she has received at Choices for Women. The group, she says, has helped her make the right decisions for her and her daughter Jerzie. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchieemail@example.com)
She was in her early 20s and attending college. Pregnancy wasn't in her plans.
She ended up going to Choices for Woman, a nonprofit group that offers support for young women and couples who decide to keep their babies.
"I was scared. I was trying to finish college and I didn't know what to do," Myric said.
"If I didn't come down here, I might have given her up for adoption."
In December, Choices for Women moved to a new location at 304 Jefferson St. in downtown Madison.
Myric, and her now 9-month-old daughter, Jerzie, followed to the new location. Charmane Willis, client services director, said the nonprofit's previous location was difficult to get to and it didn't offer as much space for the organization.
Myric has been attending classes at Choices for Women since she found out she was pregnant and is allowed to continue until Jerzie is 1. She is currently taking a Bible study course with client advocate Pat Dunn because she has completed all of the parenting classes offered.
Willis said Choices for Women offers a variety of classes, including pre-natal and parenting classes.
"They (the classes) helped me to become a better mom," Myric said.
She said she plans to attend classes each week while she still can. They've become a part of her weekly routine, even while she works two jobs to support Jerzie.
By attending class and completing homework, Myric also earns credit slips that can be redeemed at the nonprofit's baby store.
Now that her classes are coming to an end, Myric said she's thinking about volunteering with the group.
She's willing to talk to young women facing what she went through and teach them what she's learned.
"I used to only care about myself. Everything I did was for myself," Myric said "Now it's all about her."
In addition to crises pregnancy counseling and classes Choices for Women provides free pregnancy testing, ultrasound verification, post-abortion help, referrals to local help agencies and abstinence education at local schools through the Pure Initiative.
Choices for Women hours are Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone in need of assistance, anyone looking to volunteer, or looking to donate funds can reach Choices for Women by phone at (812) 273-0400.