At the start of 2019, Teen Health Mississippi became a standalone nonprofit with offices in Jackson, Mississippi and Clarksdale, Mississippi. This exciting transition has been over two years in the making. We are so grateful to our parent organization, Mississippi First, for their guidance and foresight to know that one day we would be able to better serve the youth of Mississippi if we were an independent organization.
Teen Health Mississippi was originally founded in 2017 as the program dedicated to sex education and teen health policy within Mississippi First. It originated out of Mississippi First’s project promoting sex education in public schools through Creating Health and Responsible Teens (CHART) which was established after the passing of Mississippi’s Sex Education Law (Miss. Code Ann. Section 37-13-171) in 2011. The law mandated for the first time that public school districts adopt a sex education policy.
Our future is bright! Today, we have partnerships with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are expanding our trainings to reach even more practitioners, teachers, parents, and youth serving providers across the state. We are working with policymakers, school districts, and youth to make sure more students have access to comprehensive sex education. We are an organization founded to best serve our youth. Everything we create and do is driven by our youth partners. They serve on our board, run the Mississippi Youth Council, and provide ongoing advice on all our projects.
Our Work Today
From the growth of the CHART initiative, we became keenly aware of the need to expand our work:
- Engaging youth advocates and community stakeholders to increase awareness of important policies relating to teen sexual health
- Providing training and resources to develop the capacity of youth-serving adults and organizations to effectively implement evidence-based strategies, programs, and services that are guided by key positive youth development practices.