We are continuing features on our Mississippi Youth Council (MYCouncil) members. MYCouncil is made up of 10 passionate youth activists from across Mississippi that support and promote high-quality comprehensive sex education for all young people. They work to ensure that young people have a voice in the debate around what gets taught in Mississippi schools. Follow MYCouncil on Facebook.

JEFFERSON DAVIS

Hometown: Oxford, Mississippi

Classification/School: Junior/Oxford High School

Age: 16

How long have you been a member of MYCouncil (MYC)?

This is my first year.

Why did you apply to MYC?

My mother told me about MYC and I decided to join because I knew the statistics in Mississippi weren’t the greatest, and I wanted to help change that.

What do you enjoy most about MYC?

For starters, the people I work with mean more to me than just 9 coworkers, they’re my friends that I’m happy to have met. On top of that, I’ve gotten the opportunity to learn how to advocate and talk to a few government officials in D.C., and I will talk to others in a couple of months in Jackson during the legislation session.

What project has impacted you the most during your time on MYC?

One day I hosted an event for my Gay/Straight Alliance where I spoke to them about the laws on sexual education, and at the end of the meeting, a few members told me they learned a lot about their state that they didn’t know.

What is your vision for sexual education in Mississippi public schools?

When we get a bill passed, and the curricula changes from Abstinence-Only or Abstinence-Plus to Comprehensive Sex-Ed, the rate of STDs will fall, the rate of unwanted teen pregnancies will fall, to simply put it, I see all the negative stats dropping as the positive stats rise.

What drives your passion for the work you do?

To know that many around me don’t know as much as they need to know pushes me forward. A lot of people I know only learn about STDs in their sex ed classes, which is not a bad thing to know, but if it’s the only thing to know, that’s depressing.

Has this experience impacted your future career goals?

It has. I have grown an interest in advocacy ever since the first time I met with other council members.

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