Pregnancy prevention can take a variety of directions when trying to reach teens. During the summertime in Garfield County Colorado teen interns are paid for their community engagement while volunteering at local events, festivals like Strawberry Days and with other non-profit agencies; some of which have very different missions than preventing teen pregnancy.
Taking the stance that intended prevention outcomes have more to do with relationship building than most anything else, we have attempted to connect youth with the trusted adults who are working to bring positive opportunities to their communities in a wide variety of ways.
You may think your ideas are super creative, fun and offer potential for lighting sparks for future hobbies or careers.
You know they will build skills for self-reliance
You know teens will be introduced to agencies that you hope they will never need to access.
You hope to debunk the myth that ‘there’s nothing to do here.’
But how do you know it’s resonating in any way, shape or form?
Well, we asked our interns to jot down the reasons PREP should continue or what PREP has meant to them.
Keeping in mind that “PREP” is more than just what we do during the summers. It also includes the lessons they get through Draw The Line, Respect The Line in middle school grades 6 – 8 and the one year of Be Proud! Be Responsible! or Street Smart In high school. Here’s what our interns had to say:
What PREP has meant to me is going out of my comfort zone + experiencing so many great things around the community! –Dani
Really fun and a learning experience. Also trail building was fun. –Spencer
[PREP] Made it easier for me to talk about sex. –Maria
PREP has given me the support to make healthy decisions. PREP has helped me be involved in my community. –Cintia
Hanging out with fun little kids at Game On. And learned about peers like me. –Colin
Helping out our community and educating them. It should continue because it’s a great organization that has educated many teens about an important subject. –Erik
PREP educates youth about topics some parents can’t/won’t give their child. It is important that we educate our community in the Roaring Fork Valley about safe sex and preventing unplanned pregnancies and STI’s PREP is the perfect company to educate the community. Not only does PREP educate on safe sex, but we’re also very immersed in other activities that benefit the Roaring Fork Valley. –Chip
PREP has given me an opportunity to share my thoughts on sexual health and show me how to make healthy decisions.
PREP has given me tools that will help me and my peers. –Nathaly
The impact PREP has had on me was bigger than I expected. I learned so much throughout this program. I not only learned how to prevent things and talk to adults about consent and such, but I learned ways to get involved. I met so many people and had so much fun and hope to do it again. It was a great experience and I hope it grows and expands throughout the years to get more people involved. Thanks to all the people along the way and for all the events organized. -Liz
Prep has changed my way of thinking in many ways. For example I’m more open to talking about sex with adults and or other teenagers. Before Prep I feel like I tried to avoid these topics. I’m definitely less ignorant, and stopped saying “this is irrelevant, this won’t happen to me”. It’s not all about sex though, its taught me just to be more open minded in general. it provides more information and support than what you get at school. I love all the volunteering we do especially during the summer. We get to meet new people, and just make different friends. Without prep I wouldn’t even be aware these events are going on, because teens don’t really participate in these sorts of things. But as a group we have fun and enjoy going out to these different activities. I’m thankful we get to make new memories and have fun! Teenagers need to understand that to have fun we don’t have to include alcohol, drugs, sex, the law. Prep should continue because it does a great job supporting teens through rough times, providing the public with useful information, helping adults who need volunteers, giving teens something healthy to do, etc. In general Prep is just an awesome program! -Erica
We have learned that if you give teens space and time to be themselves; as annoying as that can sometimes be, when they’re done acting goofy, they really have meaningful things to say. They have feelings that are deep, influenced by their experiences and relevant to the lives they are navigating. This group of teens did not disappoint. Please, hear their messages and recognize the importance of having this kind of education and experience in their formative and sometimes impulsive years. We here at Garfield County PREP are humbled and grateful for their contributions.