A banking chain that's new to our area has made a significant donation to the fight to prevent teen pregnancy.
First Niagara, which recently purchased HSBC locations in Greater Binghamton, is giving the Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network $25,000 for its work in schools across a 7 county region. Mothers and Babies provides counseling to high schoolers about not only the risk of pregnancy but also other life skill issues that can lead to unplanned parenting.
Mothers and Babies Executive Director Sharon Chesna says that even though teen pregnancy rates are starting to come down, it remains a serious problem. "Particularly when you look at our small districts and have perhaps 2 or 3 pregnancies in one school district, that can have a significant impact on them. Draining their resources, challenging them to give the support services that they need for those teens and then it really becomes a burden on those communities as well."
Chesna says the money is especially significant as it helps to replace a reduction in state funding. The grant was made as part of First Niagara's Mentoring Matters program.