Best-selling Author Tiphani Montgomery Shares Her Inspiring Story with UCAN’s Teen Parenting Service Network

Best-selling author Tiphani Montgomery knows what it’s like to be a struggling teen mom.  So when she shared her story—including her signature advice to “get up and go harder”—with 22 teen mothers in UCAN’s Teen Parenting Service Network and other organizations April 23, she ensured the event became a conversation, not a lecture.
“I really wanted to focus on telling personal stories,” Montgomery said of her approach. “I tried to think back to when I was a teen mom and people came and talked to us, and I would roll my eyes and not pay attention…. So, I asked myself, what would I do if I was that age again?”

Tiphani Montgomery shared her tips to overcoming obstacles
with UCAN’s Teen Parenting Service Network.

Montgomery’s personal story is certainly powerful.  Since dropping out of college at 25, Montgomery has gone on to make Essence Magazine’s bestseller list seven times, contributes to the Huffington Post and founded a boutique consulting company, Tiphani Montgomery LLC.  She attributes her business success to her ability to make strategic goals and to trust her intuition in both business and personal relationships.
“They were able to relate to some of her earlier history and then to see her overcome some of those barriers and to see her transform her life into what she wants today,” UCAN’s Andrea Chua said.
Montgomery challenged the teenagers to put together an action plan to reach their goals, coaching them on how to use their skills and talents as a jumping-off point for achieving their dreams.
“The [teenagers] left energized, excited and hopeful for the future,” Chua said via e-mail.
After the UCAN event, Montgomery discussed her story with students in the CIW YOU(th) program.

“It’s really important to plant the seed that no matter how bad you think your circumstances are, you can overcome it,” Montgomery said of her focus at both events.  “I don’t think that our youth hear enough of it.  I think it’s my job to at least plant a seed…that it’s possible.”

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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