Students Ivan Dyson and Shanice McCauley of Bronxwood Preparatory Academy have been selected to join the National Campaign’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Youth Leadership Team in Washington DC. The National Campaign recruits teens through community based organizations across the country where they convene in Washington DC on several occasions to receive training and work on campaigns and initiative to raise awareness about teen pregnancy and prevention. The National Campaign receives hundreds of applications and essays from teens and selects fewer than 20 applicants for each 18 month term.
Morris Heights Health Center is honored to have participants from the Changing The Odds program represented in this forum.
Congratulations to Ivan and Shanice!
About Changing The Odds
Changing the Odds (CTO), a new positive youth development project offered through MHHC’s School Based Health Center Network is helping young people become healthy and responsible members of the Bronx community.
Changing the Odds (CTO) is based on the Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®), a highly effective approach that equips teens with the tools they need to succeed by building the positive skills and competencies needed to ensure progress and success in life. Changing the Odds (CTO) is offered during the school year during and after school hours by certified trained facilitators of the Teen Outreach Program®. Facilitators are carefully selected for their passion in working with young Bronx youth and for sharing the mission of helping every young person realize her or his potential.
During the program, CTO students are introduced to lessons which could cover topics such as: relationships, values, communication and assertiveness, influence, goal-setting, decision-making, adolescent development, sexual health, and community service. Students are introduced to community service and are asked to identify the issues that negatively impact the community. As a group, students decide on a community service project that will positively impact their community. Through this experience, students practice their communication skills, discover their own strengths, and their own power to affect change.
Funding for this project has been generously provided by the Office of Adolescent Health of the Department of Health and Human Services.
About the Youth Leadership Team
The YLT is a select group of twelve 14- to 17-year-olds from across the nation who work with The National Campaign in a variety of ways. The YLT meets at least twice in Washington, DC during their 18-month term to help to shape Campaign policies, programs, and messages; receive training so that they can represent the Campaign to the press and media; work with organizations to raise awareness about teen pregnancy and its prevention in their communities; and give voice to the unique perspectives and opinions of teens. In between meetings the teens are active in implementing prevention programs into their own communities and assisting the Campaign with such projects as The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
To date, 144 teens from 37 states and the District of Columbia have participated in six YLT classes. They come from communities large and small, urban and rural, from every geographic region of the nation, and from highly diverse backgrounds and viewpoints.
Each YLT class is recruited from national, state, and local youth-serving organizations, such as the 4-H Club, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, Students Against Destructive Decisions, the Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the United Native Indian Tribal Youth Council, and others of similar caliber and reach.
The YLT serves as the primary teen voice for The National Campaign. During their term, YLT members participate in a variety of activities that both promote teen pregnancy prevention and expand their own abilities as well. They receive media training to work with the press; we help them plan projects in their own communities to raise awareness of the issue; and we include them in many of our own activities as well, including media interviews, forums on Capitol Hill, and training for teens in various states and communities.