Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Young Men…Take Control of Your Lives!

In less than two weeks, my little brother will leave for Great Lakes, Illinois to complete his Naval Basic Training program. My little brother is only 20 years old, and at this tender age, he has conscientiously made the decision to better himself and serve his country. Growing up, our parents have always stressed the importance of making a name for ourselves and leaving our mark on the world. My little brother tried college and ultimately felt like it was not the place for him. Then one day last year, he came into the kitchen and said, “Mom and Dad, I am going to the military!” He said it with so much conviction that my parents had no choice but to believe him. My little brother began preparing himself physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Since he was sworn in last fall, my brother has maintained a healthy diet, removed social pressures, and established a stronger foundation with God. I am truly proud of my little brother!

As his departure nears, I think about all of the young men who may have made different life choices like giving in to social pressures such as substance abuse or sexual activity. My heart also goes out to all of the teen fathers who never knew that one night of passion could inevitably turn into a lifetime commitment. I think it is very important to teach our young men about goal setting and making a plan for their lives. In the context of teen pregnancy prevention, we often forget our young men when it takes two to tango. I think young men should be educated during middle school and high school about the different paths that they can take in life and about the consequences associated with their actions. My little brother made the conscientious decision to take control of his life, when so many of his friends decided to engage in risky health behaviors. I am overjoyed and filled with so much pride and admiration for my little brother’s decision to enlist in the United States Navy! I challenge all young men to think about what they want out of life and to seek mentors that can help guide them along the way!

God Bless my little brother and God Bless America!

by Dr. India Rose, PhD, Project Manager, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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