She had gone to the doctor because she thought she had the flu and was hoping to receive some antibiotics and instead her whole life was flipped upside down.
For a year she had been living with her boyfriend at his grandparents' house because of problems at her home -- and now she was going to have a child.
Like many teen mothers, McEntire did not have the resources to care for her daughter; she did not have a car, she had to drop out of high school to raise her daughter, she cannot afford her own home and often times, she does not have the money to buy diapers for her 1-year old, Kimberly.
"I really had to grow up when I had Kimbo," says McEntire. "I had to drop out of school to get a job so I could care for my daughter -- it's not what I wanted to do, it's what I had to do."
Trying to raise a child without a support system, a vehicle, a job or essential resources can become a burden when there isn't anyone there to lend an ear or a helping hand.
But a new program to Carroll County wants to bridge the gap between resources and young parents by providing a support system that caters to their needs. In June, Healthy Families Arkansas: Circle of Life began a program for teen and young adult mothers, up to the age of 24, that offers help and home support.
Family support workers perform periodic home visits beginning in the prenatal period and ending when the child reaches pre-K. During home visits, the support workers offer parent education, child development information and discipline strategies.
"Our goal is to set up a healthy, nurturing environment for the young families," said Family Support Worker Audrey Zavaleta. "We want to provide them with the tools and resources to help them thrive."
If a client-mother needs diapers, clothes, formula or household items, she can earn points to make purchases from the Circle of Life Incentive Closet. Points can be earned in 27 different ways: writing daily logs in motherhood journals, packing diaper bags with necessary items, not missing a day of school for month, watch informational videos or attend client-mother group meetings, to name a few.
Once a month the points are tallied up and the mothers have the opportunity to go to the Incentive Closet to make purchases.
"It's been nice to use the points and getting diapers has been really helpful," said McEntire. "If I need them and for some reason and I don't have the points, they're very understanding and will provide them to me -- they don't want my daughter to go without."
Circle of Life also focuses on setting goals and motivating the young mothers to finish high school or seek higher education.
"These girls have a lot of odds against them and sometimes they don't have anyone in their life that is organized or that has motivation and that will say, 'Okay, tell me your goals and where you want to be in a year with you and your baby and I'll help you get there,'" said Zavaleta.
When there are hard days and the young mother needs someone to listen and make suggestions about their situations, support workers like Zavaleta are there for them.
"I have hard times and my mother isn't there to help, luckily Audrey has been there every step of the way," said McEntire. "If I am having a hard time with something or I need assistance with anything from a ride to the doctor to relationship problems, I know she will be there for me."
Zavaleta text messages or calls her client-mothers almost everyday and also makes weekly home visits where the mothers can confide their fears and talk about their motherhood goals.
"They really lift you up with their supportive words and without them things would be much more difficult," said McEntire.
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Another mother in the program, Rayna Case, 21, has had her share of hardships; she has a 3-year old son, Silas, who has a brain tumor and she also has a 6-week-old daughter, Lillie. Case has been unable to support both of her children on her own and recently she relocated to Carroll County to live with her mother. She got involved with Circle of Life through a organization at her church in Harrison and has not regretted her decision.
"They are really concerned about my son and the well-being of both of my children," said Case. "Silas will go for surgery in December and I know that Audrey and Circle of Life will be there for support."
The program has provided Case with new ways to care for her son, from potty training to life choices.
"We have been potty training Silas and when he would have accidents we would have him sit on the toilet but Audrey suggested that we not use the toilet as punishment for having an accident," Case said. "Now we have different, more positive ways to encourage him to potty train because of Circle of Life."
"Audrey also suggested that we limit T.V. time, so we took the T.V. out of his room and most of the the time the T.V. in the living room isn't turned on," Case said. "They have given me resources for a better home-life with more constructive ways to use our time."
Like all mothers, there have been times when Case has felt that she is not doing the best she can raising her children and Zavaleta has been there to raise her up when she is feeling down.
"They motivate me by telling me that I am doing a good job, even on days when I feel like I am not," Case said. "They notice our progress and are genuinely happy to be a part of our lives-- it's also nice to have someone that is non-judgmental that I can ask for advice or just talk to when I need to."
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The Carroll County Healthy Families Arkansas: Circle of Life was expanded to Carroll County after the program received a $55,000 Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting grant, from the Arkansas Children's Trust Fund, to expand its services. The program originated in Boone County when the director of Circle of Life applied for a grant from the Office of Adolescent Health.
"We saw a need and we filled it," said Circle of Life Grant Program Coordinator Deena Tougaw. "We hope that with success in Carroll County that we will be able to extend our future services to other counties."
Carroll County was chosen over surrounding counties because statistics show that Carroll County has a higher teen pregnancy rating. Arkansas is ranked third in teen pregnancy across the U.S.
If you would like to donate to the Circle of Life Incentive Closet or find out how to become involved contact Audrey Zavaleta at 870-391-3104.