One of United Way’s key strategies in helping to reduce teen pregnancy and teen sexual violence for young people of all genders is the implementation of proven prevention and education programs through Healthy Youth Initiative.
United Way has selected Making Proud Choices!, Reducing the Risk, Wise Guys and ¡Cuidate! as its signature curriculums. All four 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.
In the last ten years of the Healthy Youth Initiative, United Way has invested over $7.3 million and more than 35,000 youth and parents have been served. In 2016-17 United Way is funding 12 evidence-based Healthy Youth programs for a total investment of $539,000. More than 2,500 Milwaukee-area youth will be served by these programs.
There is a strong correlation between sexual violence and teen pregnancy, which is why United Way also invests in several curriculums that promote healthy relationships and build skills on how to identify unhealthy or violent relationships.
- High school girls experiencing dating violence were found to be 4 to 6 times more likely than their non-abused peers to have ever been pregnant.
- At least one fourth of adolescent mothers, and as many as 50-80 percent, are in abusive relationships before, during or after their pregnancies.
Of the Healthy Youth Initiative participants:
- 88% demonstrated an increased understanding and awareness of sexual victimization.
- 82% demonstrated knowledge of the causes of pregnancy and pregnancy prevention.
- 87% demonstrated knowledge of sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent them.
- 87% had goals for their future.
- 85% had a positive perception of self.