Don’t 4Get Me | Teen Moms | Simone Gross Interview
Simone Gross, CEO, and Founder of Don’t 4Get Me - The Frances Canty Foundation is the true definition of paying it forward! As someone who’s been through teen pregnancy and foster care, she knows that life isn’t always easy but with the help of her foster mother, Frances Canty, she made a name for herself.
Her biggest motivation for starting Don’t 4Get Me was after Frances passed away three years ago. She wanted to keep her legacy alive.
Now, she’s giving back to her community in Queens, NY with her foundation for teen moms. The foundation’s mission is to empower teen moms through online and in-person mentorship.
“My goal is to motivate and inspire teen moms. I want them to have the tools and information that I didn’t have as a teen mom,” says Simone.
This June marks the three-year anniversary of the Don’t 4Get Me foundation. It has helped provide financial literacy, a scholarship, and resources to many teen moms in the tri-state area.
“I want to make sure these girls have a career. It’s totally fine to have a job, but I want them to be able to give their child as much as they can.” The foundation currently focuses on helping teen moms through a Certified Nursing Assistant program.
“When I was a teen mom, I didn’t know a thing about credit or budgeting. I had to learn those things as I went along. I want them to have a leg up and be prepared.”
The foundation offers workshops in financial literacy to assist with learning how to manage their money and maintain financial stability.
“I don’t think society views teen moms. People quite often overlook them. They’ll help the child which is great but not the actual mom.” Simone has seen first-hand just how far support can build a young person up.
“If we don’t support them to be the best that they can be, what do you think is going to happen to that child?”
Simone went to high school in a building that offered daycare and an on-site doctor. She doesn’t see this same support in today’s school systems. She also finds it frustrating that many schools don’t mark pregnancy as a medical absence.
At eight months pregnant, Simone and her siblings were removed from her father’s care due to financial hardship. Shortly after, she was placed in the care of her foster mother, Frances Canty.
Frances was a teen mom growing up, as well. “She genuinely wanted to help and was really a mother to me.” She later took in Simone’s three siblings to keep them all together. “I know that I was really blessed.”
Having the support of Frances pushed Simone to want more for herself. She hopes her foundation will motivate teen moms to do the same.
The foundation has a fundraiser in SoHo and financial workshops coming up! For those interested in getting involved or learning more, you can send them an email
By: Jamel Coles @jamelisyours