Teen Empowerment Month
May 20, 2015
May is “Teen Empowerment Month,” a time to highlight the importance of education, access and empowerment to help teens take control of their sexual health in a way that is normalized and not stigmatized. This month, schools and health organizations across Iowa will be hosting awareness campaigns to encourage teens to become informed about healthy relationships and responsible sexual decision making.
At Hillcrest – Youth Educators will be presenting at AMP (Achieving Maximum Potential), YPSE (Young Parents Support Each Other), Hillcrest Teen Club, Youth at one of our residence homes, and at local middle schools to talk about the importance of healthy relationships, self esteem, STD’s, and birth control.
Research in Iowa indicates that many teens are already making healthy sexual decisions. Among Iowa high school students over half have never had sex, and of those who are sexually active an estimated 60% use condoms (EyesOpenIowa, 2014). Teen Empowerment Month encourages those continued behaviors while providing added education and support. Additionally, the campaign will encourage teens to know their rights in regard to sexual health and seek reproductive services if desired.
Teen Empowerment Month will feature a social media campaign, in which agencies and schools across the state will be using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with Iowa teens. Messages about healthy relationships, STDs, birth control, communication and teen pregnancy will be shared through various posts during the month. Teens will receive similar messages during the school day through announcements, posters and events.
Parents, teens, faith communities, schools, health providers and others interested in learning how to take part in Teen Empowerment Month can join the conversation on social media at Facebook.com/EyesOpenIowa or on Twitter at @EyesOpenIowa. Additional resources will be available online at www.EyesOpenIowa.org.
When teens are provided with comprehensive education and access to services they are able to take control of their sexual health.
– Vicki Gassman, Community Health Education Supervisor, Hillcrest Family Services