This year might have been our first as a standalone nonprofit, but Teen Health Mississippi hit the ground running—literally. We traveled more than 20,000 miles to conferences, events, and 130+ trainings. Our team also continued to develop programs that cross areas such as capacity building, parent trainings, and youth-friendly healthcare, plus we awarded five subgrantees to a youth council and youth-serving organizations across the state.
And that’s not all! We invite you to read the full 2019 Annual Report to see how Teen Health Mississippi is championing teens and adults who want to improve sexual health education, training, and policy.
Making an Impact
We’ve made significant progress in 2019 to advance our mission: ensuring that all Mississippi teens have access to high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare services. Our impact extends across the state and touches the lives of teens, schools, healthcare providers, policymakers, and more!
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Empowering & Connecting Teens
Our youth movements help Mississippi teens build their own healthy futures and become leaders in their communities.
- MISSISSIPPI YOUTH VOICE EDUCATORS (MYVOICE) collected 215 needs assessments from young people across Coahoma County.
- LINKEDUP is currently working on a resource guide that will come out in the first quarter of 2020.
- MIND ELEVATION. (ME. PROJECT) has seven ME. Influencers. The program has participated in events such as college fairs, panels, and a takeover of the Mississippi State Fair in October 2019.
“I had a desire a long time ago to start my own program to help youth, but I could never find the courage to fulfill this dream. It wasn’t until the ME. Project that everything shifted. I now see everything through a clearer lens. I no longer just dream; I plan and create.”—Iesha Hayes, ME. Project Influencer
Serving Mississippi Schools
Education leads to informed decisions about sexual health, which is why our programs and initiatives support our schools.
- CREATING HEALTHY & RESPONSIBLE TEENS (C.H.A.R.T.) is now in more than 30 school districts across Mississippi. More than 15,000 Mississippi students have received abstinence-plus education.
- K5 HUMAN GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE now has four schools in Mississippi who have adopted the K5 curriculum.
- TEEN HEALTH MISSISSIPPI CADRE rebranded itself from the Mississippi Sex Education Cadre. It currently has 10 contractors, its largest number to date. The cadre has held more than 130 trainings across Mississippi and has trained 350+ people. Who it impacts: schools, teens, parents, and community- and faith-based organizations
“When we empower our young people, it helps our state. A lot of young people have left Mississippi because they haven’t been able to access opportunities to live a quality life.”—Monica Coleman, Director of Education and Training
Advancing Youth-Friendly Healthcare
Youth-serving adults and organizations can better care for teens when they use research-based strategies and best practices—which they can get with our training.
- FOCUSED PREGNANCY PREVENTION FOR MISSISSIPPI TEENS (FOCUS4TEENS) has worked with young people in developing a website to be launched in 2020 that will highlight birth control options. With help from F4T, Teen Health Mississippi’s clinical health system partner was able to stock a range of contraceptive options in five clinics and make it available for same-day services at some locations.
- PREGNANCY ASSISTANCE FUND awarded its first grantees in 2019. PAF is working on a resource guide in February 2020 for expectant and parenting youth.
- HEALTHCARE TRAINING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE has impacted counties across Mississippi and expanded to Louisiana.
“We see our work as part of a greater movement to ensure all teens in Mississippi have knowledge about their sexual and reproductive health (SRH). We put in the work because we know when we support and empower young people in Mississippi, whole communities benefit!”—Hope L. Crenshaw, Executive Director
Improving Sex Ed Policy
We need public policies that lead to effective sexual health for Mississippi teens, and our staff and teen advocates are making it happen.
- MISSISSIPPI YOUTH COUNCIL (MYCOUNCIL) helped craft the language for House Bill 1347, which would require the State Department of Education and the Mississippi Department of Health to develop a list of evidence-based, medically accurate, and age-appropriate curriculum every five years. The bill would also allow parents to opt out of sex education in their young persons’ schools.
- MYSUMMIT had 47 attendees at the June 2019 event. The 2020 goal is 100.
- LEGISLATIVE & EDUCATION ADVOCACY COLLABORATIVE (LEAC) worked on policy and legislative strategies with lawmakers.
“MYSummit equipped me with tools needed to achieve my own advocacy goals and organize the people who I need to help me do that.”—Ava Davis, Murrah High School
Will You Join Us in 2020?
Our 360-degree approach involves training, capacity building, advocacy, programs and initiatives, and bringing youth and communities together. That means there are lots of ways to get involved!
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Plus, as we get ready to celebrate our first birthday, there’s no better time than now to start supporting Teen Health Mississippi. The year ahead is already slated to be full of new developments and milestones, including serving as a regional hub for training youth leaders across the southeast United States, drafting new sex education legislation, exhibiting and presenting at major health conferences across the nation, creating a new peer to peer HIV/AIDS youth education training program, and hosting a statewide World AIDS Day event on December 1, 2020.
Thank you for an incredible year and for powering us to reach new heights!