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Pregnancy prevention solutions

Organized by: RYAN SIMPSON

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THE STORY:

Affinity Comprehensive Prevention Services (ACPS) provides a comprehensive pregnancy prevention program linking education, meaningful social outlets, and mentoring for Shelby County’sat risk males aged 15-24. Premised on the belief that substantative, supported programs can be powerful catalysts and incentives young males to pursue educational and employment goals; its mission is to equip youth along the spectrum of reducing teen pregnancy rates with the skills and experience necessary to take concrete steps toward becoming self-sufficient, self-fulfilled and productive members of society. The Need The Tennessee Department of Health website reports Shelby County teen birth rates are the highest in the state. For teens in Shelby County aged 15-17, the birth rate is 36.7/1000 girls compared to 24/1000 girls statewide. For teens aged 18-19, the birth rate is alarmingly higher at 107.8/1000 girls in Shelby County compared to 85.9/1000 girls statewide. These rates are for live births only; they do not include miscarriages or other terminations of pregnancy. Consequently, the extreme pregnancy rates in Shelby County exposes a lack of after school programs, extracurricular activities in the communities, poor sex education programs, lack of parenting skills and some dysfunctional family structures. This is our first outreach project designed to target young males in communities with high pregnancy rates. We are finding that programs dealing with teenage pregnancy prevention often aid girls and new mothers. According to the University of Memphis CROW program, a granted funded by the CDC for girls, report only 5% of all resources for preventative pregnancy programs are geared toward young males. Ultimately, this leaves young males uneducated, unaware, and unable to process their role in preventative measures to control this problem. How It Works and Who It Serves In order to help fill the need the for preventative programs, we will provide manhood programs, socialization opportunities, health and wellness information, social services as well as other preventative programs for current fathers to prevent additional children without proper education and strong family support. After reading the announcement for this grant, this program fits squarely within the areas of interest; a preventative program for young males in a high risk area of Memphis, TN, increasing awareness and providing an outreach agenda for local schools, public housing, and churches. Our mission is to provide enriched educational experiences through alternative methods to attain healthier lifestyles. We will achieve these goals by encouraging youths to develop healthy and independent lifestyles through improvements in their quality of life using preventative methods to decrease teenage pregnancy rates in the community. To effectively service this population, we will collaborate with local organizations and community leaders to organize educational events throughout the year. Conclusion Our 5-year program objectives include 1) promote awareness, education, responsibility for young males to engage in reproductive health and parenting skills 2) provide sex education and address sexual abuse from qualified professionals 3) build social marketing campaigns such as websites, public service announcements and use other social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in order to build an authoritative and easy to access way for youth to communicate with health care professionals and answer questions among peers. ACPS will provide youth with motivation to pursue education, information, skills and experience that enable them to function in social environments, develop appropriate social skills and increase their awareness to preventative pregnancy methods. I will apply my extensive experience developing, implementing and adapting systems to track program outcomes towards measuring and demonstrating success in order to grow and diversify support. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to working with the people in need.

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RYAN SIMPSON

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