By Becca Bolden, Research and Evaluation Manager
November 11, 2015
I had the great opportunity to attend the 2015 Healthy Teen Network Conference last month, called Youth 360: Where Youth Live, Work and Play Matters. Conferences like this one allow our staff to network with and learn from other organizations and agencies across the country committed not only to teen pregnancy prevention but to promoting youth health and well-being in a holistic way, a framework that can be easy to lose sight of in the day-to-day work of grant deliverables and email requests. It’s so important to remember the big picture of why we do what we do, and how to make sure that big picture gets integrated into our daily tasks and projects.
The conference kicked off with Dr. Steve Perry, an innovative educator who is the founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Connecticut, as well as an Education Contributor for CNN and MSNBC. He spoke about the impact of growing up with a teen mom, and despite his career success, the immense amount of luck he had avoiding young parenthood himself. He urged the audience to consider the fact that we also may have been lucky to have avoided teen parenthood, which I think came as a bit of a surprise to attendees at first. It makes sense that we tend to get caught up in our world of prevention that using a condom every time or getting an IUD or implant may seem like an obvious and beyond-easy choice for every single young person, regardless of their circumstances. Beyond simple – especially when you have fantastic and effective programs like the Colorado Family Planning Initiative in our home state.
But maybe that’s not the case.