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OCO Guardian Angel Considers Its OPTIONS

FULTON, NY: The honorary head pin for Oswego County Opportunities’ upcoming Bowl-A-Fun, the Pink Guardian Angel, uncovered one of the many benefits that OCO’s Youth Services provides when it visited members of OCO’s OPTIONS program.

The OPTIONS program promotes well being for Oswego County teens who are pregnant or parenting.

The Pink Guardian Angel discovers what it is like to be a parent as it visits OCO’s OPTIONS Program. From left are case specialists Melissa Lamb and Aimee Goulette; OPTIONS AFL coordinator Linda Eagan; and program manager Christina Piscitelli.
The Pink Guardian Angel discovers what it is like to be a parent as it visits OCO’s OPTIONS Program. From left are case specialists Melissa Lamb and Aimee Goulette; OPTIONS AFL coordinator Linda Eagan; and program manager Christina Piscitelli.

Through education and advocacy, case workers ensure the health of the youth and the baby as they assist youth in obtaining services from other agencies, provide supportive counseling to assist their transition to parenthood, and help them grow personally as they help them develop parenting skills.

“We offer them the tools they need to succeed as a parent,” said Christine Piscitelli, program manager with OCO’s OPTIONS. “It’s more than just teaching them parenting skills. We offer monthly group meetings where they have the opportunity to meet other parenting teens and their children, discuss parenting issues with peers, learn educational and life skills, and learn valuable information on a number of pertinent topics from a variety of guest speakers.”

Thanks to the procurement of a grant from the Adolescent Family Life Program, OCO’s OPTIONS program has recently expanded, adding four additional case specialists and a coordinator.

The expansion is allowing OPTIONS to serve even more Oswego County youth.

OPTIONS coordinator Linda Eagan is pleased with the positive effect the expansion is having on the program.

“We are now able to provide services to three times as many pregnant teens and have been given the opportunity to strongly impact the field. While our program continues to look and feel very much like a the traditional OPTIONS program, we will be working closely with SUNY Oswego researchers Dr. Jackie Reihman and Dr. Edward Lonky to rigorously evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Based upon our success, the OPTIONS program will be replicated by other agencies throughout the country. It is a very exciting time for ourselves and the many youth that we serve,” said Eagan.

The Pink Guardian Angel is visiting various OCO sites throughout Oswego County as it reminds community members about OCO’s 10th annual Bowl-A-Fun and the announcement of the winner of the Golden Opportunities raffle that will take place on April 2 at Lakeview Lanes.

For more information, visit www.oco.org