One of United Way’s key strategies in helping reduce teen pregnancy, sexual violence, and victimization for young people of all genders is the implementation of proven prevention and education programs through the Healthy Youth initiative.
Research has shown that high school girls experiencing dating violence were four to six times more likely than their non-abused peers to become pregnant and anywhere from 25 - 80% of adolescent mothers are in abusive relationships before, during, and/or after their pregnancies.
United Way has selected Making Proud Choices!, Reducing the Risk, and Wise Guys as its signature Healthy Youth curricula. All three programs have been used successfully in Milwaukee and nationwide. By implementing the same programs throughout the community, United Way can accurately track progress and results through common outcomes and indicators, while also forming best practices.
Since 2001, United Way has invested over $8.9 million and more than 45,000 youth and parents have been served.
In 2018-19 United Way is investing $545,000 in 14 Healthy Youth programs, which will serve 2,300 Milwaukee-area youth.
Of the Healthy Youth Initiative participants:
- 80% demonstrated an increased understanding and awareness of sexual victimization.
- 82% demonstrated knowledge of the causes of pregnancy and pregnancy prevention.
- 90% demonstrated knowledge of sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent them.