Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teens Get Real: Teen Expressions 2011

Our 2011 Teen Expressions contest “What is Your Reality?” closed a few weeks ago, and we’re so excited to announce we received nearly 150 entries! This is my second semester as a graduate assistant at the SC Campaign, and although I’ve read previous Teen Expressions publications, this was my first experience reading all 150 submissions.

I’m impressed by the honesty and thoughtfulness present in so many entries. When creating the theme this year, we wanted to establish a contrast between the “reality” portrayed in the media and the actual reality S.C. teens are experiencing. We hoped teens would tell us more about their world, challenges, and triumphs!

Teens responded to one of four contest prompts:
  • How is your reality different than the reality of teens portrayed in the media?
  • How has or how would being a teen mom or dad change your reality?
  • What do teens need to know now about staying healthy?
  • What is the reality in your home regarding love, sex and relationships?
Entries came from young men and women across the state. Some entries discussed the pressure teens feel to be sexually active. Others compared the lifestyles of wealth and excess portrayed on TV to their own lives. We received entries from teen moms and dads who shared the struggles they face in raising a child at such a young age.

Entries illustrated that “real” reality – reality in its purest, untelevised form – goes much deeper than the scripted reality we see on TV.

Judging took place last week, when two adult judges and three youth judges met, deliberated and  chose five exemplary entries that will be competing for the $250 grand prize. Later this week, online voting will open on Carolina Teen Health to determine the Teen Expressions 2011 grand prize winner.

Keep an eye on the CarolinaTeenHealth Facebook page for an announcement when voting begins, and make sure to vote once a ay for your favorite entry!
Carolina Teen Health
By Lauren Angelo, a Graduate Assistant from the University of South Carolina at the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

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