At 16 years old, Maria Hernandez had nowhere to go. Pregnant, scared, and with no support, Maria came to the newly expanded Pregnant and Parenting Teen Center in New Braunfels.
Maria said it's a place that changed everything for her..
"I came to this place, and they helped me out here. It changed my whole life,” said Hernandez. “I'm here now, and I'm glad to be who I am now, and a different person to my daughter."
Maria has lived at the center for just over seven months, along with two dozen or so other teen moms.
The new program is part of the Saint Jude's Ranch for Children, which cares for abused, abandoned and neglected children.
As Texas faces one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation, the expansion of this center was both urgent and necessary.
“While it doesn't solve the entire problem, it certainly helps gives some of these girls the restart, the new beginning, that they need and deserve,” said Christine J. Spadafor, with St. Jude's Ranch for Children
The center currently houses 24 moms, with four more on the waiting list.
For teens like Hernandez, it's been a rough road, but one she can now travel on with the help of others.
"We all struggle at the same time,” said Hernandez. “But we know we get past through it, all together."