Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our blog has moved!

We are happy to announce that our blog is now being hosted on our website.  Click here to check it out!

Thank you for reading!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Take a Man on a Date Month!

A friend of mine recently started dating someone. After their first date he asked for a second by informing her that September was “Take a Man on a Date Month."   

The idea of taking a man on a date made me start thinking about female assertiveness, gender roles, and healthy relationships. I know several females who would be very uncomfortable with the idea of asking a man out on a date—almost to the point of finding it socially unacceptable.  

When I think about healthy relationships, however, assertiveness and the ability to state your wants and needs—as well as the ability to respect the wants and needs of your partner—are very important. So simple, right? Well, not exactly so simple. In the past when I have asked for the second date, my friends have looked at me like I was an alien from Mars! 

Also, in general, we know that clear communication, respect and boundaries in relationships are often easier said than done - which is why our youth need ongoing support and positive modeling in all relationships. 

I sometimes wonder if a lack of assertiveness at the start of relationships will lead to people being unable to state their needs later on in relationships. While I am not currently a parent, when I become one I hope that I can teach my kids to say what they need and want and to not allow traditional gender roles to keep them from making healthy connections. Maybe I’ll even use “Take a Man on a Date Month” to do it. 

by Elizabeth Polinsky, University of SC Master of Social Work Intern, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Good Enough Teenager

Do you simply want to survive your children's teen years? Or, would you like to have a more engaged, joyful experience of parenting? I stumbled across an interesting article in the 2014 winter edition of The Law of Attraction magazine titled Are you an Available Parent? Dr. John Duffy specializes in "maximizing satisfaction and minimizing conflict between parents and their teenagers – what we call Parent-Child Connectedness in the teen pregnancy prevention world. Duffy describes being an available parent as acknowledging, accepting and challenging your teen openly and without judgment. Overall, the article was very enlightening and even as a non-parent I can use some of the techniques with the young people I come in contact with on a consistent basis. 

Here are a few highlights:
·         If your teen isn't good enough in your eyes, they will throw in the towel on your relationship as well which may lead to years of heartache, frustration and joylessness.
·         By remaining available to your child during his/her teenage years, you lay a foundation for a healthy, loving relationship with him/her in their adult years. 
·         Instead of focusing solely on your teen's behavior, over which you exert little or no control, focus on your behavior as a parent, which you have full control. 
·         Use your teen’s missteps and experiences as opportunities and teachable moments. 
·         Don't feel like your teen is always being oppositional for sport. It's a normal and important part their development. 
by Meredith Talford, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
  • This article is adapted from his book The Available Parent. For more information visit  
  • Dr. John Duffy is not related our Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Jennifer Duffy.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Six Months and Counting...

So, next Tuesday marks my six month milestone with the SC Campaign. And those months have flown by. It’s been a busy time at the SC Campaign. Our 20th Anniversary Gala, followed quickly by Summer Institute, sprinkled in with Contraceptive Counseling, ICE, Seventeen Days, Reproductive Coercion, Leadership, Be Protective, Social Media and youth, training trips to San Antonio and Knoxville…WOW!! Busy is an understatement. And the fall looks even busier! I’m still learning about CEUs, nursing CEUs, MAPPS hours and all of the different processes we go through to get these approved. I’m so very thankful to all of our partners for their patience as I learn and adjust. And I’m especially thankful for Markessce Craft and Sara Lamberson for helping with all of the logistics.

We are excited about several new trainings we are offering this fall:

Along with some great standards:
  • Making a Difference/Making Proud Choices
  • Safer Choices
  • Reproductive Health 101 
Check out our events page on our website for more information about all of our workshops, and keep checking as we are adding more to our calendar daily.

by Shannon Lindsay, Training Coordinator, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's National Health Center Week!

It’s National Health Center Week – a time to celebrate those who work in health centers across the country, but specifically, I want to thank all of the hardworking individuals who give their time and effort in the health centers within our state. Here is a description of what this week is all about from the event’s website:

“Each year the second week in August is dedicated to celebrating the services and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers. While there are countless reasons to celebrate America’s Health Centers, among the most important and unique is their long success in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States.”

Health centers play an important role in the work of the SC Campaign. Every day, our youth are exposed to messages about love, sex and relationships. Healthcare providers are in a unique position to offer accurate, timely information in a confidential setting. In addition, teens value the time spent with them and the unique counsel that is offered. So this week, give a shout out to someone via social media who works at a health center, send a fruit basket to a health center near you, or simply say THANK YOU to the men and women who work day in and day out to provide important services not just to young people, but to all citizens in South Carolina who need their help.

If you work for a health center, those is charge of the National Health Center Week want to hear from you. Share your stories, photos or videos on what makes your health center special. For more information, visit

by Cayci Banks, Senior Advisor for Communications, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, August 4, 2014

Talking to your teen about substance use and sex: prevention is key

When is the right time to talk to your teen about sex, drugs and alcohol use? The truth is talking about these matters is just as important as talking about drunk driving or preparing for college. While it may not be comfortable at first, the sooner you start talking about these things the better.

Photo credit:
In the technology-driven world we live in, teens especially, are being exposed to sex and substance use both on the Internet and through friends. This results in teenagers becoming more curious about experimenting with substance or sex at a younger age. Teens may view drinking, smoking and sexual activity as the “cool thing to do” simply from the way it is glamorized in social media and talked about by their peers. Young teens also learn habits from their older siblings simply by viewing photos or status updates on Facebook or Instagram. While we can't completely shield our children from everything, there are ways to educate them on these topics so that they remain safe.

There is also a strong correlation between substance use and teen sexual activity. A study completed by found that, “teens under age 15, who had ever had a drink were twice as likely to have had sex as those who didn’t drink.” The same can be said for teens, who drank ages 15 and up who were “7 times likelier to have had sexual intercourse and twice as likely to have had it with 4 or more partners than non-drinking teens.” [1] What many teens don’t realize is that these numbers don’t include only consensual sex in that age group. Drinking or using drugs might increase the risks for sexual abuse and even rape.

While you may believe that you have a good rope on what your teen is doing at all times, eventually they will be off to college and will need to make decisions regarding sex and substance use on their own. However, alcohol has lead to rising number of unprotected sex. In fact, according to data compiled in 2013 on, “400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex.”Unprotected sex can lead to a slew of problems such as unwanted pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases. According to the same study, “97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.”[2]

So what can you do as a parent or trusted adult? Again, communication is key. Here are a few solid tips when approaching the subject with your teen.

  • Remain calm and collected. A screaming match between you and your teen will get you nowhere fast. When discussing these topics it’s best to remain calm and non-hysterical. This way your teen will engage in the conversation longer, and will not feel like they will get in trouble if they speak with you about their curiosity about sex or drug and alcohol use. The more you converse with your teen, the more comfortable you both will feel. As much as you may want to completely shut off the topic, it is best to inform your teen about situations they could get into when engaging in substance use such as overdoses, date rape drugs, sexual assault, unprotected sex or unwanted sexual advances. This way, if a dangerous situation does arise one day, they can be prepared to react accordingly.

  • Keep on top of social media. Depending on your personal preference you may not want your teen on social media sites. But if you are constantly being begged to permit it and you decide to give in, have some boundaries. Explain to your teen that anything put on the Internet can never be erased. Oftentimes teens don’t think about the long term and solely focus on the short term. While social media sites do have privacy measures, advise your teen against posting pictures of underage drinking or drug use. Another way to protect your teen is to add them as your friend. If you see anything unusual, ask your teen about it and how they feel casually. This might give you a better insight as to whether they are curious about experimenting with substance or not. 

How have you talked to your teen about these issues?

This blogpost is by guest blogger, Saint Jude Retreats, an alternative to traditional substance use treatment. Saint Jude Retreats provides a program for people with substance use problems that concentrates on self-directed positive and permanent change. Through the program, we offer the opportunity for individuals to self-evaluate and explore avenues for life enhancement.


Monday, July 28, 2014

It Takes a Village

It takes a whole village to raise a child, but...

it begins with a connection.  This week marked the release of the Annie E. Casey Foundation sponsored 2014 Kids Count Data Book, highlighting state-by-state progress, or lack thereof, around issues affecting children like education, health, poverty and safety. Thanks to our friends and colleagues at the Children's Trust of South Carolina, the agency responsible for South Carolina's data release, we are able to consider the well-being of children on a state and county level. South Carolina ranks 45th in the country for overall child well-being, which reflects very little progress in a positive direction. More than a quarter of a million children live in poverty, which contributes to the state's overall stagnation around health, education and the economy. The foundation is weak and even when we consider "bright spots" like teen birth rates (which have fallen by 47% over the past two decades), we realize just how fragile progress remains. 

The fragility of progress, and our often short attention spans, places unique responsibility on all of us - from youth-serving professionals and advocates to parents, faith leaders and government officials. I truly believe that most people care about children and their families, especially those who are in poverty, sick or marginalized in some other capacity. So, if most people care, then why do we continue to see such negative social and economic outcomes? Well, of course the answer is complicated, but I strongly believe the answer at least begins with our ability to genuinely engage and connect with each other.

Staff members from the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy were able to join the Children's Trust of South Carolina during a couple of media activities this past week and, as I am sure happens every year, the media wanted to know "now what?"  We continue to have these data releases -notably, in the near future, the SC Campaign will work with state partners to produce data specific to teen births and the connection to other social issues. But, how will we use this data to inform effective strategies, to collaborate (like the Children's Trust of SC and the SC Campaign) and to CONNECT with the community at large?  How will we remind each other that we are ALL connected and impacted when a child grows up in poverty, when a child is consistently behind academically, when a young person becomes a parent, or when a family goes without healthcare? We should also consider the connections and overlaps between these issues so that strategies for improvement are comprehensive and reflect all of the factors that contribute to poverty, educational attainment, and health, etc.

Of course we cannot provide all of the answers with one data release or via a blog. But we can engage each other through community forums, volunteer efforts, mentoring and individual support for causes that effectively reach the homeless, the working poor, young parents, and so many others who often just need a stronger foundation from which to progress. 

Let's be that village we so often reference in our speeches and conference themes. Let's also remember this great African proverb is only a cliché if we fail to make the connections necessary to genuinely affect change.
*It takes a whole village to raise a child - Igbo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb

Monday, July 21, 2014

Giving teens some space

It’s no secret that the Hartsville Boys and Girls club does great work, but the Teen Center needed a serious face lift. So when the Midlands class of the spring 2014 Diversity Leadership Institute was choosing a project to work on in Hartsville, S.C., the Boys and Girls club seemed like an obvious choice.

“We had three people in our group from the Darlington/Hartsville community and another who grew up there,” said Doug Taylor, Chief Program Officer at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and a member of the Midlands class. “It was a known need in the community that the Boys and Girls Club building was not in good shape.”

Over the past three months the group has spent time transforming the drab brown and white Teen Center into the ultimate teen hangout. The space is now an inviting bright blue, with new couches, a TV, and even study stations for the teens to comfortably do their homework. The teens will get their first peek at their new space on Thursday, when the teen center will hold its grand reopening.

But the Boys and Girls Club is about more than just giving teens a place to be. It’s about preparing our young people to be leaders in their community.

“Programs like this are so important because kids need access to caring adults when parents or guardians are at work,” Taylor said. “They need to be engaged and not just sitting around wasting time.”

That’s why Taylor’s group also made sure the Boys and Girls club staff had the resources they need to educate the teens on important life skills.

For Taylor, that meant working with the staff this summer to implement a teen pregnancy prevention curriculum, Making Proud Choices. The curriculum emphasizes safer sex by teaching teens about abstinence, condoms, communicating with their partner, and strategies to delay initiating sex.

The Boys and Girls Club staff will be able to sustain the program long after Taylor’s group has graduated, thanks to continued training from the SC Campaign and funds from the Department of Health and Environmental Control's Personal Responsibility and Education Program.

Taylor is confident the project can be sustained, thanks to the passion he found in the community.

“The best part was getting to meet and work with individuals who are committed to making their community better and who can follow through,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t ‘why don’t we try this, why don’t we try that’ they’re out there making it happen.”

by Kylee Perez, Communications Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Farewell to the SC Campaign!

Two years ago, I embarked on a journey to enhance my understanding of pregnancy prevention. I was approaching my graduation from my doctoral program at the Arnold School of Public Health at University of South Carolina and this amazing postdoctoral fellowship position presented itself at the SC Campaign. I had not worked directly in teen pregnancy prevention before, but had extensive experience in HIV prevention. After researching the SC Campaign, I knew that this position would be an ideal next step for my academic and professional career.

In June 2012, I officially became a part of the SC Campaign staff and managed the two-year collective impact project funded by The Duke Endowment. At first, I thought this position would be similar to an internship, little did I know that I was going to be responsible for coordinating schedules, creating PowerPoint presentations, developing meeting agendas, and facilitating team meetings. Right out the gate, I had a role at the SC Campaign. I was fully embraced by the staff and senior leadership of the organization and truly felt like I was a part of the team. My thoughts and ideas were always taken into consideration and some my ideas even came into fruition in the form of a webinar focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth health and a corresponding publication. Additionally, I was able to interact with partners and stakeholders from across the state and learn about what investments are truly needed to address teen pregnancy in South Carolina. On the horizon, there is a new document being developed by the SC Campaign that will assist funders and organizations that want to invest in teen pregnancy prevention. Knowing that I contributed to the creation of this document is the culmination of my efforts and it feels good.

From the start, I felt like this postdoctoral fellowship position was a nice blend between research and public health practice. Given my background in qualitative research, I had the opportunity to conduct focus groups with parents of middle school students to examine their perception of school-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. I was responsible for developing the research protocol, research questions, facilitating the focus groups, and analyzing the data. One of the highlights of my experience at the SC Campaign, was when this research was accepted for publication in the Journal of Sex Education: Sexuality, Society, and Learning’s special issue dedicated to Dr. Douglas Kirby, an adolescent sexual health researcher who I have always admired.

I knew from the start that this was only a two-year position, but I never prepared myself for all of the knowledge and skills that I would acquire from the SC Campaign in that short period of time. I served as an adjunct faculty member at South University, became a Certified Health Education Specialist, and completed the United Way’s Blueprint for Leadership program. Having the opportunity to work with a staff as talented as the SC Campaign’s, I now feel I am equipped to advocate for teen pregnancy prevention and will continue to do so as my professional career develops.

This postdoctoral fellowship has provided a solid foundation for my career. The insight and feedback that I received from fellow staff was invaluable and for that I thank everyone at the SC Campaign for their input in my professional development. And on that note, I bid you farewell!

by India Rose, former Post Doctoral Fellow, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, July 7, 2014

Freedom isn’t free. And neither is birth control.

The fireworks stands are popping up on every corner reminding us of the holiday that celebrates freedom and independence. However, a recent Supreme Court decision was quick to remind us that individual freedom- freedom to decide how to plan for child-bearing and freedom to decide what is best for our bodies is often not free. On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that closely held corporations, such as Hobby Lobby, cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees if they object based on religious reasons. Our CEO, Forrest Alton, released this statement about the decision, “…when that decision-making autonomy is taken away and barriers are introduced, whether those be cost or otherwise, it makes it less likely women will choose to use the most effective methods of contraception consistently.” So while many women work in positions that will allow them access to long-acting reversible contraception (i.e. the IUD-intrauterine device) at a free or reduced cost, women who work at Hobby Lobby will not have the freedom to do the same. Of course, they can pay for it out-of-pocket but given the long-acting nature of these methods, the cost is often upwards of $500.

I find myself in a position that some may think is contradictory: I think the Supreme Court’s decision was wrong, and I am also a Christian. So where does that leave me? Does that mean that I am a lesser Christian than the executives at Hobby Lobby? I like to think that I am a Jesus-loving, women's rights supporting, Hillary in 2016 believing, firearm toting, equal rights supporting Christian. And no, I don't think that phrase is an oxymoron.

First of all, contraception is not just used by “promiscuous teens” (as you will hear some people say) but it is used by an overwhelming majority of women – young and old. The reasons for use vary, some women use contraception for the benefits to their skin and complexion, while others use it for regulating menstrual cycles, while the majority of women use it for preventing pregnancies or family planning. The long-acting reversible contraception methods (i.e., IUD, the shot, the implant), are used by many women in monogamous, exclusive relationships or marriages so they can plan for children or allow adequate space between pregnancies to help decrease the chances of complications during and after pregnancy.

While I am always in support of anyone standing up for what they think is right (even though I may not agree), it seems that if Hobby Lobby wants to use religious opposition to some forms of birth control, doesn’t that mean that they should also refuse to cover medications for diabetes and high blood pressure caused by obesity since gluttony is also a sin? Or refuse to cover psychological services that result from a sin like adultery or pornography addiction? Or perhaps refuse to cover medication that is only needed because of a sin - like medication needed because of experience with drug abuse and addiction?

Again, don’t get me wrong I am in full support of someone taking a stance for their religious freedom but shouldn’t it be an all or nothing stance? It isn’t fair to Christians as a whole when someone picks and choose the parts of the Bible that they want to enforce and then make a public stance based on religious beliefs. This type of “cherry-picking” Bible verses when it is convenient or comfortable supports the general consensus that all Christians are hypocritical and are only known for what they are against, and not what they are for (FYI –I believe my main man Jesus was for love, tolerance & forgiveness).

So as the holiday weekend approaches and we become consumed with fireworks, cookouts and dysfunctional family gatherings, consider this: the decision made by the Supreme Court directly impacted the freedom of a group of women who are employed with Hobby Lobby but even more so this decision was made loud and clear to all women who now feel more vulnerable to having their individual liberties stripped away by their employer. As anyone with a child knows, or anyone that has ever been around children, the ability to easily access and afford effective birth control options impacts everyone, not just us lucky ones born with a uterus.

Check out this TIME Magazine article to learn more about IUDs. 

by Sarah Kershner, It's Your Game Project Coordinator, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, June 30, 2014

Are We Ready for What's Next?

You may have heard that I’m leading a webinar this week as part of a series we have been conducting at the SC Campaign on leadership. When I agreed many months ago to facilitate this three-part series, I didn’t think much of it. Leadership is a topic that I enjoy learning about, reading about, studying and subsequently sharing what little knowledge I have with others.

The first segment in the three-part series covered the need for us to balance Leadership and Management in our roles. The second, a discussion about Leading in Difficult Times. Both of these are topics that I discuss with our senior staff frequently, topics that are very salient, and frankly, topics that I feel pretty comfortable speaking about. (Note: check out the hyperlinks if you have interest in hearing the first two installments of this series).

Who’s Got Next? is the third and final chapter in the series, where I will discuss leadership transition and developing the next generation of leaders. My comfort level on the subject wavers as I continue to read and research in preparation for the webinar. My journey has been the definition of the phrase “the more you dig, the more you uncover.” A topic that I once thought I knew something about has become a mass of data, charts, opinions and hypotheses circling in my brain that make me more panicked than ever for what comes next. But I will do my best to synthesize my experiences and research on Wednesday to begin this all-important discussion.

We are on the cusp of a never-before-seen level of transition in the workplace. As the “baby boomer” generation begins to retire in record numbers, who will take their place? My gut tells me that this scene will be especially conspicuous in the nonprofit sector.

Are we ready?  We better be…

At the very least, I hope you’ll join us on Wednesday as a beginning to this much-needed dialogue.

For more information and to register for this free webinar, click here.

by Forrest Alton, CEO, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Getting to Know our Priority Youth Specialist Rena Dixon

I sat down with Rena Dixon, Priority Youth Specialist at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy to learn more about how she became a public health professional.  Rena has worked for the SC Campaign for four years and recently earned her Ph.D. in Community Health Promotion and Education from Walden University.

Kemi:  Describe your journey to becoming a public health professional focused on teen pregnancy prevention.

Rena: I went to undergrad thinking I was going to be an athletic trainer – very different from what I do now. They discontinued the athletic training program at my school so I had to figure out what I was going to do. At my school, you were put in health science classes to be pre-athletic training, or pre-nursing, or pre-physical therapy, so I stuck with my public health classes and I loved it. I absolutely loved it, it was great.  I did my internship with young people in the Housing Authority [of Savannah] so I really bought into working with young people, which led to my first job working at Planned Parenthood in Georgia. I learned all about pregnancy prevention, STIs, and working with young folks.  I moved away from that and really wanted to get back into it, which is why I made the switch to come back to working in sexual health all day every day.

Kemi: So, young people – that was really your driving point?

Rena: Right. I really wanted to be a person that was a resource for folks about health information.  You see so many people who don’t know the right answers or don’t know how to get the information. I thought it was really important to me as a person of color to be that voice for my own people, and my own neighborhood, and my own family. So I just kind of took off with it.

Kemi: That kind of makes me think of Beverly Bond’s talk [at Summer Institute 2014] where you’re kind of waiting for somebody else to do it [be a resource in your community then decide] I’ll just do it [instead] because other people are probably thinking the same thing, that we need so-and-so to be a role model. 

Kemi: Can you describe a typical day being a Youth Specialist?

Rena: I travel a lot. A typical day usually involves me being in the car going somewhere to meet with our providers that we work with. I do have a unique position that I work with providers all across the state and not in one particular region.  So, any given day I could be in Spartanburg, or I could be in Horry, or I could be in Charleston, or I could be in Lancaster or Rock Hill. But a typical day involves me driving to see one of our clinic partners or higher ed partners.

Kemi: So, when you say our providers, you’re talking about mostly clinics?

Rena: Yes, my position is specialized to really focus on working mostly with clinic providers to help increase their capacity to provide teen-friendly services for youth coming in, or I work with higher ed campuses to help them address teen pregnancy on their campuses.

Kemi: So, have they heard of us, or you just go in and you give them [information]?

Rena: Ninety percent (90%) of the people I work with closely are receiving some type of grant funding through us or we’re working with them on a particular project like the BlueCross BlueShield project, or the CDC project, or the PREP project, or now the PAF project. So, they’ve already been identified to work on that larger sub-project and I’m just doing my piece for that grant.

Kemi: So, how did you spend this morning?

Rena: I was doing a speaker request for a group of about 300 young people on pregnancy prevention and STIs.

Kemi: Do you do these often? Is it usually that large of a group?

Rena: Well, it’s kind of random. I think it’s always different for us because we don’t do direct service, but people still look to us to provide education and information in communities. So I do feel like we get a lot of speaker requests. Those of us in the office who are public health trainers and are comfortable getting up in front of groups usually get those requests. I did one two weeks ago and one about six months ago. It varies.

Kemi: Do you prepare a PowerPoint, or what do you do to keep young people engaged?

Rena: I did a Prezi this time because there were so many young people, I felt like I needed some visuals and I think that’s a cool, different way instead of a boring PowerPoint. Two weeks ago, I did a game with the young people because I had a smaller group of about 30, and I did two different sessions so I was able to use a game called Fact or Fiction.

Kemi: Are they [young people] pretty responsive?

Rena: Yeah, they are.  You get a lot of questions.  A lot, a lot of questions because some people don’t have anyone they feel comfortable talking to, or someone they can talk to who’s going to give them the right information.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Institute Recap

This year's Summer Institute Conference was a success thanks to all of our attendees, sponsors, speakers, vendors and staff! If you weren't able to attend this year, here's what went down...

Sarah Brown, CEO, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned
Pregnancy, and Forrest Alton, CEO, SC Campaign, have "Fireside Chat"
during the opening luncheon keynote address

Sarah Brown accepts this years Murray Vincent Award, pictured with
past recipients Rev. Don Flowers, Michelle Nimmons and Carol Singletary

Debra Chilcoat, Healthy Teen Network, presents her session "Keep It Simple:
Linking Teens to Sexual Healthcare" on Wednesday

Christina Jackson and Antquan Smith from Sea Haven talk about how to
reach runaway homeless youth on Wednesday

Eric Rowles and Pat Kelsaw of Leading to Change give an energizing session
on Thursday morning

Beverly Bond, Founder and CEO of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, delivers the
keynote address at Thursday's luncheon

SC Campaign staff take a selfie with Beverly Bond!

Party people at the 20th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday night
do the wobble

Charles Weathers presenting his power session on Friday to wrap up the conference

To view more photos from the conference, visit our Flickr page!

by Sara Lamberson, Corporate Communications Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Institute: Are You Ready?!

Our 15th annual Summer Institute conference is only two days away, and the SC Campaign wants to know...

Are you ready?!

We've got a spectacular program for you all this year, including...

Wednesday, June 11

Thursday, June 12

  • 8:30am – 10:00am       Breakout Sessions 
  • 10:15am – 11:45am     Breakout Sessions
  • 12:00pm – 1:30pm     BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Luncheon with keynote Beverly Bond
  • 1:45pm – 3:15pm         Breakout Sessions
  • 3:30pm – 5:00pm         Breakout Sessions
  • 5:00pm - 8:00pm         20th Anniversary Celebration 

Friday, June 14

  • 6:00am – 9:00am Breakfast for Embassy Suites guests
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm Power Sessions

We can't wait to welcome each of our 379 attendees so we can salut success and push for progress!

For the agenda and full listing of breakout and power sessions, click here

by Sara Lamberson, Corporate Communications Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, June 2, 2014

Until We Meet Again...

Me and coworker/friend Sarah Kershner
As I write this blog today, I will do my best not to melt into a puddle of tears. For the past seven years, I have served the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy as its Director of Communications – a position that I’ve truly loved. I have had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, some amazing people – from Forrest Alton who took a chance with me when he made his first hire as Executive Director  to Ashley Hunter who has showed me the ropes at the State House to Shannon Flynn and Sarah Kershner who have been my data gurus and more importantly, my friends. The staff at the SC Campaign is truly the best in the business, and I have been honored to be a part of this effort.

In addition to my colleagues within our office, I have also had the opportunity to work alongside phenomenal people like Don Flowers (my favorite Baptist Minister) and Bill Albert (CPO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and also the person I aspire to be like). I met both of these men within my first couple of months at the SC Campaign and have turned to them for guidance ever since. I appreciate them more than they know.

Me and my beautiful family
In just a few short days, I will transition out of my full-time role with the SC Campaign and into a less formal, consulting role with the organization.  While part of me is sad to go, I’m excited for what is waiting for me at home – two beautiful children, Lucas (4) and McLane (10 months). Since my son was born, I have seen just how fast time passes us by and have decided that I need to be more present for my children at this time.

I am very proud of what I have accomplished over the past seven years, but without a doubt, am most proud of the fact that I have built a top-notch communications department who will continue to produce A+ results.  Kylee, Kemi, Kim, Carol, and Sara are my heroes – they work tirelessly to promote our brands, to spread positive messages of teen pregnancy prevention, and to recruit supporters for our agency. At the end of the day, it is these people who I got to work with every day that I will miss the most!

I came to the SC Campaign with very little knowledge of public health or teen pregnancy prevention, but I am leaving as a huge advocate and #1 fan of the organization!  I would love to stay in touch with all of you so please follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @cbanks11.

Until we meet again…  

Cayci Banks, former Director of Communications, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy