A Girl Like Me founder Tyra Moore, center, poses for a photo with employees Marilyn Williams and Shantell Woods. Moore started the nonprofit in 2019 as a way to provide for teen moms.

A Girl Like Me founder Tyra Moore, center, poses for a photo with employees Marilyn Williams and Shantell Woods. Moore started the nonprofit in 2019 as a way to provide for teen moms.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Young mother starts nonprofit for ‘A Girl Like Me’

By: Jacob Herbert | Metro | Published April 29, 2021

METRO DETROIT — Teen pregnancy is a struggle that Detroit resident Tyra Moore understands all too well. Moore became pregnant at 15 years old and was so scared she didn’t tell her mom until the Tuesday before her baby was born.

Feeling terrified and alone, Moore didn’t tell anyone about her pregnancy for fear of judgement from others. After giving birth and living life as a young mother, Moore continued to see a negative light cast on teen pregnancy and teen mothers. So she decided to do something about it.

In 2019, Moore, now 29, formed A Girl Like Me Inc., a nonprofit for girls ages 11-25.

A Girl Like Me provides young mothers with baby products and any other feminine products needed. On Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m., Moore meets with a group of girls ages 11-17 to discuss a wide range of topics, including self-care, mental health, hygiene, sexual activity, preventing pregnancy and more. Moore also provides babysitting services to mothers who need it.

“The reason I started this came from when everybody found out I was pregnant, my mom made phone calls to community members, my friends and family,” Moore said. “Everybody came together at my grandma’s house with the baby. We could barely get in because the house was filled with so much stuff for my daughter. I said one day I was going to pay it forward, because growing up, there’s probably going to be girls like me, having a baby young.”

Moore said she and her husband started delivering products to friends and family behind the scenes in 2019 so as to not draw attention to them. They simply wanted to provide for young mothers. As the popularity of their services grew, Moore had no choice but to go public as a way to reach even more girls.

Marilyn Williams, who works as an administrative assistant at A Girl Like Me, met Moore when their daughters shared a classroom at school. After learning about the nonprofit from Moore, Williams felt compelled to help and has been along for the ride ever since.

“Tyra will go above and beyond to find different services we probably would have never thought of,” Williams said. “She goes beyond because she has the heart. She has everything she feels a young girl may need, and I’m on her team.”

In offering advice for young mothers, Williams said the door to A Girl Like Me is always open. The nonprofit keeps all personal information confidential, and Williams said those who walk through the door should feel safe at all times.

Moore was able to offer up her own advice for young mothers who may feel scared or alone due to their situation.

“I would tell them to hold on, because it’s not the end of the world,” she said. “Even though they had their baby young, a baby doesn’t stop your life at all. Even though it wasn’t the right decision for right now, we want them to know that we are here if they ever need help. Also, if the family is worried and needs someone to talk to, we will talk to them and let them know they can still move forward in life.”

Moore said she eventually wants to purchase a house for homeless young mothers to bring their babies while getting back on their feet. She said the goal is to have bedrooms, training rooms and a daycare in the home. Moore also hopes to obtain an apartment building to be used as a refuge for mothers who may be homeless and pregnant or with small children.

Those interested in receiving help from A Girl Like Me or volunteering at the nonprofit should visit AGirlLikeMeInc.org or email Moore at agirllikeme2007@gmail.com.