Monday, March 31, 2014

Wear Jeans, Raise Awareness about Teen Pregnancy

Raise awareness about National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month with us this May! Every year during Blue Jeans for Teens, we at the SC Campaign wear jeans in the office for $5/day or $20/week to help raise awareness and support for teen pregnancy prevention efforts in South Carolina. We’d love for you and your organization/business/community group to join us this year for 1 day, 1 week, or the entire month of May. We will provide stickers for participants to wear on the days they wear blue jeans for teens. Participating in Blue Jeans for Teens 2014 is easy! Here’s how:

  1. Register your team online on our website.
  2. Receive Blue Jeans for Teens stickers in the mail
  3. Wear jeans to work and raise awareness for teen pregnancy prevention
  4. Collect donations and mail to the SC Campaign

Click here for more information and to view past participants.

Thank you to everyone who has dedicated their time and effort to teen pregnancy prevention throughout the years.  We truly appreciate you and look forward to raising awareness about teen pregnancy together in May.

by Kemi Ogunji, Executive/Development Assistant, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

Dear 16-Year-Old Me,

Hello there! I’m you, 10 years in the future. Yep, you sold out and went to college and got a real job instead of becoming a rock star like you thought you would. It’s okay. At this point in your life you’ve already mourned that dream and decided you don’t have the tolerance to live in a van for months at a time. You like stability and going to bed early now. In fact, you even voluntarily attended--get ready for this--GRAD SCHOOL.

I know, I know, you don’t believe me. You’re sitting in algebra right now, wearing those skater shoes from PacSun that Mom tried to throw away because they were so old but you went and fished them out of the garbage without her knowing. You’re probably going to your shift at Dairy Queen after school where you’ll mumble under your breath about how much you can’t stand the ho-hum of suburbia. When you get home Mom will ask how your day was and you’ll answer her in as few words as possible, then retreat into your room and turn on the stereo. You’ll probably fall asleep thinking about Joe, your first boyfriend.

16-year-old me working at Dairy Queen
I have so much to tell you, young me, and I’m not quite sure I can convey how desperately I want you to listen. You don’t do that very well, do you? You’re right about everything, because you think growing up in suburban New Jersey has bestowed upon you all the worldliness one could hope for. But stay with me here.

You’re going to move to South Carolina after college and realize you had a very privileged childhood. You’re going to start listening to country and you will like it. You will adopt an overweight orange cat. You’ll love him. And you’ll also start working at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, where you’ll help communities encourage their teenagers to make smart choices. And when you’re sitting where I am right now (and you will be, because you’re me!) you’re going to think about those kids you’re trying to reach. You’re going to wince when you remember just how invincible you thought you were, when in reality, you were just one bad decision from having it all turn out so differently. You’re going to want those kids to listen.

You’ll see the efforts the SC Campaign is trying to make and you’ll pray those kids realize there is so much more to life than high school. You hope they won’t be like you and take their education for granted. That they’ll have enough wisdom and foresight to know that the decisions they make now will follow them into the future.

How do I know all of this? Because I was you once, and let me fill you in on a few things. First, Joe is going to dump you. In the hallway. On your way to algebra. You’ll be devastated, you’ll write some bad poetry, but trust me, you’ll get over it, and by the time you’re here you won’t even remember why it hurt so much.

School is important. Stop asking when you’re ever going to use equations in the real world and just study, for crying out loud. You’re not bad at math; you just need to work harder than everyone else. Keep on truckin’ --you’re going to get an A in graduate level statistics.

Your friends aren’t the most important people on the planet. There are things you’re doing now that you’ll regret later. Mom and Dad were right about mostly everything. Oh, and Mom? You’re only going to have another eight years with her. Try not to take her for granted.

You won’t get this letter in time. But hey, that’s why I got to write it.


by Amanda Pollak, Graduate Assistant, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 

Monday, March 17, 2014


Our new website is almost here and we're getting pretty darn excited! Here are the top five things we're looking forward to about launching the new in April.
1. It's mobile friendly!
Anyone who knows a teen will agree they're constantly connected, and the research backs it up. According to the PEW Research Center, 74 percent of teens access the Internet on a mobile device. Not only that, 25 percent of teens access the Internet primarily on a mobile device. Which means if we aren't mobile, one in four teens might never see our site at all!

2. We'll have information for pregnant and parenting teens.
For the first time, we've expanded our audience to include pregnant and parenting teens. Sure, we want to keep our young people from getting pregnant. But if they do, we want to help prevent a second pregnancy, encourage the parents to stay in school, and give them resources to keep their baby healthy and safe. 

3. We're including teen voices. 
We're giving teens a place to contribute their writing, art, and other creative ideas. Because who knows better what it's like to be a teen than a teen?

4. Teens will be able to use our site to find resources across the state. 
We've had some great success with the "Not Right Now, Put Pregnancy on Pause" campaign in Spartanburg and Horry counties. Thanks to all their hard work, we're able to take this brand state-wide and provide some really great resources for our young people. 

5. We're encouraging parents to learn and start the conversation. 
Parents should be their child's primary health educator. That's why we're pulling parents into this easy-to-use, jargon-free website that will help give them the tools to talk to their children about love, sex, and relationships and hopefully guide their child to informed, responsible decisions. 

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

So, Do You Have a Boyfriend or Girlfriend?

Some people often wonder who other people are dating and sometimes may offend others when they ask the big questions, “So, do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” These questions are always asked assuming everyone in the world is heterosexual. When people do not have the stereotypical looks and mannerisms of someone that is not homosexual they are oftentimes put into the heterosexual category. Alternately, people may have the looks and mannerisms of someone that is not heterosexual is often put into the homosexual category.

Instead of making each other feel bad there is a new term that everyone should develop in their vocabulary for the times they have to ask the burning question, “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”  Al Vernacchio, a TED Talker, has come up with the perfect term that already exists, "sweetheart."  It’s a very relaxed term that does not offend because a sweetheart can be a girl or a guy.  The next time you ask, just remember, “Do you have a sweetheart?” sounds much better, and sweeter.

Here’s Al Vernacchio’s video giving this new term to kids at a TED Talk.

by Edwina Mack, USC Master of Social Work Field Placement Student, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Monday, March 3, 2014

Support Our Mustachioed Men!

Mustache Grower
Chris Adams
March…spring is the air, basketball playoffs are right around the corner, and mustaches are going to be in full bloom!

That’s right, it’s time once again for the SC Campaigns’s annual Mustache Madness competition.

This year, we have 15 men who have signed up to grow a 'stache, and nothing but a 'stache, for a good cause.

Why 15? Well, 15 teens give birth in South Carolina every day so we have found 15 men who are willing to do something about it!

Be sure to check out all of their photos, which will be updated weekly, and support your favorite mustachioed man.

He who raises the most money will be crowned the winner. It's easy: choose your favorite, support his 'stache, and share his page on your social media

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