Steven Daniels (far right) and Keziah Carter (near right) with Sharonda Phipps and LaTeff Alston, Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program staff
June 1, 2017
What do you remember about your in-school sexual education class? Maybe you just remember feeling uncomfortable, or tuning out because you felt that you already knew everything you needed to know about sex.
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 like Making Proud Choices. This is possible through the existing Healthy Youth Initiative (Formerly Healthy Girls Initiative) and through a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. Through a grant from the Office on Adolescent Health, the work between United Way and Boys & Girls Clubs focuses on reaching youth who live in zip codes that have the highest teen birth rates in Milwaukee – at least three times higher than the city-wide rate.
Making Proud Choices brings trained facilitators into local middle and high schools, community centers, and group homes to help teens learn about pregnancy and STI prevention. MPC Educators are carefully chosen to be sure they can connect with teens – someone who can act more as a friend than a teacher – and make the lessons fun by playing games and, of course, bringing snacks. The goal is to help teens understand the possible outcomes of sex before they engage in it – and, in turn, avoid negative outcomes.
Students who show a particular interest in the curriculum and mobilizing the community, specifically in the six Milwaukee zip codes with the highest teen birth rate, are recruited to join the Youth Leadership Council (YLC). The YLC is a group of teenagers who act as a community task force – spreading the word to their peers about the importance of safe sex.
Today we speak with Keziah Carter and Steven Daniels, both graduating seniors at Bradley Tech High School and members of the Youth Leadership Council. Steven is the Vice President of the YLC while Keziah is the Marketing Co-chair.
We chat about the fun and challenges involved in being vocal advocates for safe sex, what their parents think, and how they break the ice. We also talk about how they plan to continue this work as they make the transition into adulthood.
Are you a parent wondering how to talk to your teen about safe sex? Visit the Baby Can Wait Facebook page and website for information on how to start the conversation.
Learn more about United Way’s Healthy Youth Initiative (formerly Healthy Girls)