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Mid-City CAN Blog

Core event draws hundreds at Hoover

CORE event educates teens at Hoover
CORE event educates teens at Hoover.

The Mid-City CAN Momentum Team that focuses on preventing teen pregnancy and educating young people about sexually transmitted infections had an event May 13 at Hoover High School that drew about 600 students. The team also decided on a new name – one that reflects a wider focus than its previous name, the Teen Sexual Health Momentum Team.

“We’ve always tried to make our events more encompassing and holistic, so we wanted that to be reflected in our name, too, the Adolescent Health Momentum Team,” said Tara Beeston, the co-chair of the team.

 

The new name doesn’t mean that the group’s focus has shifted, though, Beeston said.

“We are definitely still focused on the sexual-health side of things,” she said.

The group staged the educational event, called Core, at Hoover, designed to inform teens about sex in a frank and honest way. The group alternates the events between Crawford and Hoover and is even developing a how-to manual so that high schools outside of City Heights can replicate the model. The event was a partnership with HealthCorps Hoover Health Fair, a student-led resource fair from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 13.

 “City Heights is definitely one of the [teen-pregnancy] hot spots in the County,” Beeston said. “We are seeing rates of teen pregnancy going down over all, … but rates of STDs in that same population seem to be going up. We are interpreting that as young people are getting the birth-control message, but they are not getting the you-still-need-to-use-condoms message to prevent STDs.

“So there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.”

The event is hard work for the group, but the results are worth it, she said.

“We’ve always got great evaluations from the students and lots of thanks … for bringing this to the school and attention and awareness to it,” Beeston said.

Working with teens in an area as diverse as City Heights presents challenges, but despite differences, it is impossible for teens to escape messages about sex, she said.

“If you are at high school in the U.S., you are seeing these things, you are hearing these things, so we need to be talking about that,” she said. “And it is even more of a reason to have these kind of events and discussions at school, because they likely won’t be happening at home.”

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