This week was dedicated to choosing a health project for the Woodlawn community. Choosing our project took an interesting transition given that we first decided to commit to the issue of food insecurity in Woodlawn due to a lack of grocery stores and healthy, fresh, affordable foods. However, during a discussion we had on teen pregnancy, we decided to change our topic to teen pregnancy and sexual health. This topic seemed to be more relatable and pressing to our youth leaders.

Up to this point, we have learned about the statistics of teen pregnancy in both Woodlawn and in the greater City of Chicago. The rate of teen pregnancy in Woodlawn is significantly higher than the rate in the city according to some of the research we have done so far. In talking about this topic, we have learned that there is more that goes into preventing pregnancy and STDs than telling to teens to “stop having sex.” We have divided the topic of Teen Pregnancy and Sexual Health into six areas: birth control and prevention of pregnancy, resources (clinics), information of STDS and STIs, healthy relationships, consequences of teen pregnancy, and how parents can be supportive of their children in learning about and practicing preventive methods against pregnancy and STDs.

Our team is dedicated to giving possibly two workshops where we will present this information, resources, as well as free condoms to teenagers between the ages of 13-18 years old. We are committed to this health topic because many of the youth leaders know other teenagers who are expecting babies, have babies, or who want to have children now without knowing the consequences of pregnancy.  We are hoping that our workshops will provide teenagers with the necessary resources and information to practice safe sex, gain knowledge on STDs, understand the consequences of pregnancy, foster healthy relationships, and learn how to gain their parents’ support with using birth control and community resources to manage any sexual health issues.

-Team Woodlawn ’17