Veronica Artis-Bryant was 20 years old and a sophomore at Stevens Institute of Technology when she found out she was pregnant.
“It was a frightening time for me. I didn’t know where to turn or what I needed to do to be sure my baby would be born healthy,” she said.
Veronica was especially concerned about what to expect when giving birth. Her sister knew a nurse in the Essex YCS Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program and recommended the program to her. NFP provides comprehensive, in-home support by a registered nurse to first-time inner-city, pregnant women. The same nurse continues to support the mother and baby until her child’s second birthday.
“My nurse, Karen Burton, has been an important part of my life ever since (we met),” Veronica said. With Karen’s support, Veronica delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl named Sanai Lily, in December 2016.
In addition to advising Veronica with all her medical concerns, Burton helped her find day care for the baby when she returned to work and school. She has been there to answer Veronica’s questions about the baby’s development, and has been a compassionate ear when Veronica is troubled by relationship issues.
“Karen has been with me every step of the way and because of her recommendation I was offered a paid internship with a local business that specializes in the production of high-end hardware.
“I was so excited. Someone believed in me,” Veronica said. “She said the internship has boosted her self-esteem and given her confidence to pursue a major in mechanical engineering and design.
“Karen is so much more than a nurse. She is my friend. I share everything with her and trust her advice and judgment,” said Veronica, adding, “I am proof that with a little support and encouragement a young Newark mom can make it.”
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