Social Health Association has partnered with Health Care Education and Training (HCET) to deliver its nationally approved Making A Difference!® teen pregnancy and STD prevention program to La Plaza’s Leadership Institute for Latino Youth for the first time ever this summer. The program is supported with federal funds from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families for the Strong Teens Acting Responsibly (STAR) project.
LILY is a free five-week summer academic and leadership program designed to help 7th – 12th grade students gain the skills not only to graduate from high school, but to also succeed in college, career and life.
In addition to receiving English, science, technology, engineering and math instruction, students participate in enrichment activities and are encouraged to think about their future, which is where Social Health comes in.
SHA educator, Andrea Kamwendo, will cover 10 main topics, including: ‘What is sex?’, ‘What is abstinence?’ and ‘What are sexually transmitted diseases?’ in the eight-lesson program over ten visits to two groups of students at IPS’s Gambel Preparatory Magnet High School.
“We talk about the risks and outcomes from sex and abstinence and role play different scenarios,” said Andrea.
The youth also build up self-esteem, naming things they like about themselves, and think about the choices they have and the impact those choices can have on their lives.
Typically delivered at Indiana middle schools during the school year, this is one of a few Making a Difference!® classes being taught in the summertime.
Students Open Up
The predominantly Latino group speaks openly about cultural differences and how it’s not uncommon for young girls to be kicked out of their home if they get pregnant before marriage.
“We help students feel comfortable so they aren’t embarrassed to speak in front of their peers,” said Andrea. “It’s a great time to ask questions and learn facts about pregnancy and STDs and get honest, medically accurate answers.”
“We are so excited that Social Health Association will be working with La Plaza to implement the evidence-based Making a Difference!” said Abby Hunt, MSW, Executive Director, HCET. “Research shows that evidence-based teen pregnancy & STD programs are effective. We are pleased that La Plaza youth will have access to these high quality programs delivered by superb SHA Health Educators this summer.”
Andrea agrees. “We are positively impacting students’ lives. Because we are in so many schools, we reach the full spectrum students, from the poor to the wealthy and those living with two parents, single-parents or grandparents. And yet, they are all facing the same social pressures regarding relationships and growing up.”