This week I served as a guest speaker for the female teen wellness two day workshop at Ballou High School! I was contacted by health educator Charlotte Hager of Unity Health Care to speak with the girls from 9th to 12th grade. She facilitates a comprehensive health and wellness workshop aimed specifically at the needs and interests of the teenagers. I went during my lunch break to meet with Charlotte and talk to the girls. During my presentation, I addressed a range of topics from my personal journey, self-esteem, goal setting, peer pressure, and communication. The critical element of my speech and interaction was to make the connection to the importance of education and the processes of achieving goals.
Here is why:
Ballou has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates and number of births by teen mothers in Washington, DC. The goal is to get the students graduated and to their next opportunity baby-free, if possible. Additionally, research and studies have shown that the number one protective factor for teen pregnancy prevention is an adult who is invested in the teen, serving in a mentor role.
Teen pregnancy in DC:
In DC, teens can self-consent to confidential services from age 12 and older. This means they can access: http://www.dcregs.org/Gateway/RuleHome.aspx?RuleNumber=22-B600
- Pregnancy tests
- ALL birth control methods (from birth control pills to an IUD)
- STD testing and treatment
- Alcohol and substance abuse counseling and treatment
11th and 12th grade girls
9th and 10th grade girls
And to my surprise- I inspired their case worker to rock her natural hair!
A HUGE THANK YOU to Charlotte Hager for inviting me to speak and to the girls of Ballou High School.
For more info:
The curriculum for the workshops at Ballou: