Monday, January 20, 2014

A Note of Thanks

If I had told you 20 years ago that we were going to reduce the teen birth rate in South Carolina by 50% over the next two decades, I probably would have been laughed at, but that is, in fact, exactly what has happened. From 1992-2012, the teen birth rate (for 15-19 year olds) has declined by 47%! This is a remarkable accomplishment and one that would not have been possible without each and every one of you. So, I would like to pause and say THANK YOU!

THANK YOU to the young people who are making more responsible decisions. At the end of the day, this really is your victory.

THANK YOU to the parents who are starting conversations at home with their children about love, sex, and relationships. As a parent myself, I know this subject matter isn't easy, but we play such a critical role in our children’s decision making. Keep up the good work!

THANK YOU to faith leaders who are willing to tackle this subject matter within your congregations.You are giving young people a safe place to talk about issues they are facing.

THANK YOU to after-school program leaders and youth serving professionals who have made it your mission to make a difference in the lives of young people.

THANK YOU to clinicians who have worked tirelessly to ensure your facilities are teen friendly and that sexually active young people are leaving your clinic with the most effective forms of birth control.

THANK YOU to sex education teachers who know the importance of giving information on both abstinence and condoms and contraception in order to give young people the tools they need to stay healthy.

THANK YOU to those who financially support teen pregnancy prevention. Your gifts make it all possible.

And finally, THANK YOU to all of my colleagues at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. I know we cannot take all of the credit for this substantial decline, but I do know that the work you all are doing on a daily basis is making a huge impact in the state.

So, today we celebrate – but tomorrow let’s get back to work. Time to focus on the future and how we can reduce the teen birth rate by another 50% over the next 20 years!

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

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