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Co-chairs: Cliff Baskerville and Barbara Guillory
This committee is developing a database of the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s leading teenage pregnancy prevention programs. It has also identified additional programs that compensate for the shortcomings of the most prominent programs, eventually to cross-reference the best available practices. All of these elements will hopefully be included in the model initiative to be implemented in Atlanta.
Integral to the model project is mentoring/apprenticeship. The committee felt that it was important to include students as well as adults in the process. One group of student mentors would be those who have faced teenage pregnancy to inform their peers of its consequences with personal testimonies. Another group of students would be successful college students from local communities engaged in empowering their mentees with the endless possibilities of their future and a positive mindset to help them realize their fullest potential.
The model would be piloted in the A.C.T.S. school program for DeKalb County (Avondale, Columbia, Towers, and South DeKalb) because of an existing connection with one of the committee members. However, the committee is compiling statistics for teen pregnancy to identify the most affected schools and provide another possible focus area. It is also working to involve the faith community and colleges for volunteers, student representatives, and additional resources. If faith communities and academia can combine their efforts in the most distressed areas, there can be a sustainable model for teenage pregnancy prevention on a long-term basis. Furthermore, Build Up Purpose representatives have offered their connection as stakeholders for Mayor Reed’s “Centers of Hope” initiative. They are willing to share grant opportunities and the development of the recreation centers as resources to the entire coalition.
In regards to policy recommendations, the committee plans to research existing policies to identify legislative action affecting teenage pregnancy, such as child exploitation and human trafficking. It will try to compile a database of relevant policies on a national level, analyzing and cross-referencing them with existing policies in the state of Georgia. Much like the database of best practices, this method will generate legislative recommendations that the committee would like to implement on the community, state, and federal level.
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