Young Mothers' Voices - An Anthology

"You can take on the world if you put in work and make your parents proud. When you fail get back up and try again. You won't always make it on your first try but be persistent and aggressive." --Janewella James, "Dear Janewella, a Letter to Herself," excerpt from Young Mothers' Voices

Young Mothers' Voices is an anthology written by our pregnant and parenting TCA students. The collection of poems, personal narratives, letters and stories give voice to the pain, joy and creativity of young mothers, as they share who they are and who they are becoming.

This anthology is a collection of voices that belie many faulty societal representations of pregnant and parenting teens. The young mothers at The Chiles Academy are proving daily that stereotypes of teenage mothers do not define them. Discovering who they are, is for them, as it is for all of us, a work in progress. Told through essays, poems and short stories, the young women's voices reach out to the reader in touching and often emotional ways.

The Authors and The Bonner Chiles Foundation receive 90% of the profit made from books sales on Amazon. The portion received by the foundation is applied to directly support the work of The Chiles Academy.

Visit Amazon to order your copy today! 

Stetson University Creates Master's Program Utilizing The Chiles Academy

Educating for Social Justice Creates Immediate Impact
April 24, 2016

by Veronica Faison

As the face of education continues to change, a new master’s program at Stetson is already making a difference. 

To positively impact the lives of children, teachers must be able to understand students from diverse backgrounds and how they learn. To address these changes and equip teachers with the tools they need, there is a growing trend toward social justice programs specifically designed for today’s classroom.

Stetson University is helping to lead the way.

Stetson’s Department of Education created Educating for Justice, a master’s program in elementary education that focuses on addressing needs related to student diversity through an emphasis on complex dynamics inside and outside of the classroom. The intent was to enable educators to become more salient in social change.

With its first cohort graduating this July, the new program has done just that — providing teachers, as well as those interested in educating for social justice in nontraditional settings, the opportunity to learn by bridging theory and practice.

“Our nation’s current education system is profoundly marked by significant social disparities, including economic, racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, language, immigration status and religious,” cited Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., Jessie Ball duPont Chair of Social Justice Education and director of Stetson’s graduate education programs. “We must collectively work in our communities and as a nation to close the persistent and growing opportunity gap.”

The program is a natural extension of Stetson’s Strategic Map, which makes social values a leading priority.

“Our new program, alongside our distinctive Educational Leadership program, is an intentional effort on Stetson’s Department of Education to improve schools and communities by preparing competent, culturally responsive educators and leaders,” added Shankar-Brown. “Educating for Social Justice enhances one’s current knowledge of teaching in the context of tackling complex social disparities and advancing social justice.”

Immersed in research, graduate students are able to delve into areas of personal passion such as literacy and arts integration in economically disadvantaged areas, promoting global education, education in prison settings, first-generation mentoring, education for English Language Learners, supporting LGBTQ students, and designing culturally responsive professional development for local public schools.

In addition, since social justice education is interdisciplinary in nature, there are connections to environmental studies, sociology, economics, business, political science, gender studies and law — all intersect and are closely intertwined.

With applications under review for the second cohort, which will begin in May 2017, the graduate program is designed for teachers, counselors and social workers. “Candidates in the program are presented with intentional opportunities to further intellectual growth and global citizenship and to increase the ability to advocate for social change,” said Shankar-Brown. “Candidates must be hungry to learn and committed to promoting social change and equity.”

There is no arguing the impact of the program. Although only a single cohort has reached graduation from the program, students involved have partnered with groups in the local community to create positive change through the Spring Hill Bright House Boys and Girls Club, the Neighborhood Center of West Volusia and The Chiles Academy in Daytona Beach.

For more information on Stetson University’s Graduate Programs, including graduate programs in the Department of Education, visit:

Note: In October, the Department of Education faculty are planning to hold their annual Poverty and Homelessness Conference at Stetson University. For more information visit