The YEAH! Network uses research, advocacy, and community education and collaboration to influence policy and practice in adolescent sexual health. By articulating a common agenda among diverse local, state, and national stakeholders, we are working to create an informed, empowered, and engaged response to teen pregnancy and sexual health disparities in Hampden County.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

¡ADELANTE Holyoke!

On March 22, the YEAH! Network, in partnership with Enlace de Familia, organized the 2nd Latino Leadershop Roundtable on Teen Pregnancy.  The purpose of the meeting was to develop a process for engagement with city residents and policy leaders.  Together, they can work to address the high rates of teen births and sexually transmitted diseases in Holyoke.  We had a great turn out and an engaging discussion.

Here are some highlights:
  • A diverse group representing schools, parents, health care workers, policy makers, community activits, community based organizations and academia participated in the discussion
  • Key themes that the group identified as important to consider when addressing the high teen birthrate: 
    • Comprehensive sex education in the schools is just one component - other sectors of the community need to be involved, as well. 
    • The issue should be framed to reflect a broader concept of teens' sexual health, incorporating healthy relationships and prevention.
    • Build the capacity of parents to talk to teens about sexual health as well as provide information and opportunities for parents to become involved in advocating for the reproductive needs of youth
    • Maximize the utilization of community organization programs that address adolescent sexual health
Next Steps:
  • The YEAH! Network will support the City Council Resolution recommendations, which Mayor Pluta may implement
  • We will work to increase community awareness and support for the Resolution
As Holyoke moves forward to address one of the most persistent adolescent health issues int he commnity, the YEAH! Network will be working with key stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive and sustainable response.

¡Adelante Holyoke!

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