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Stories Worth Sharing: Healthy Teen Network 2013 Annual Report

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Gina Desiderio

on 26 August 2015

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Transcript of Stories Worth Sharing: Healthy Teen Network 2013 Annual Report

Improving The Lives
2013 Annual Report
Stories Worth Sharing
Stories Worth Telling
An Assessment of
Needs & Opportunities
of Pregnant & Parenting Teens & Their Children
In fact, what helps teen families grow & thrive is not so very different from what helps all families thrive. To improve outcomes (that is, to reduce teen pregnancies & births), we need to recognize the complex interrelated factors, or social determinants—such as access to quality education & health services, life goals & aspirations for the future, or healthy relationships—that influence individual behavior & health outcomes.
MT Pitt, is a creative, talented, & imaginative young man whose daydream life provides escape from the torment he faces at school at the hand of school bully, Aaron “Tick” Tickford. Through his dealings with Tick & the courage he summons within himself, he finds his voice…& himself.
About Mighty MT
Mighty MT
Healthy Teen Network and mPOWrd Media collaborated with award-winning graphic novelist Jonathon Scott Fuqua, who wrote & illustrated the graphic novel,
Mighty MT: MT Finds His Voice.

Geared toward middle-school aged youth, this new graphic novel has an overarching anti-bullying message, touching on healthy choices, conflict resolution, & self-esteem.

The story is informed, in part, by a focus group conducted by Healthy Teen Network & comprised of students from Baltimore City’s Digital Harbor High School.
About Mighty MT
More than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year, & approximately 160,000 students skip school each day because of bullying.
(DoSomething.org)
Linking Teens to Sexual Health Care
Keep It Simple
Growing up isn’t easy. Helping teens navigate their sexual health isn’t easy either.

Right now, across the country, folks are working tirelessly to make sure teens learn about sex, love, self-respect, & taking care of themselves.
So,
Keep It Simple!
With funding support from the CDC Division of Reproductive Health, Healthy Teen Network & CAI partnered to create another way we can help teens. The partnership resulted in a short, to-the-point
lesson plan
with an accompanying
motion graphic
(i.e., a short film) to be used by health educators, clinic outreach staff, teachers, & more... wherever adults are working to to meet teens where they are.
What Is It?
Keep It Simple
is a 45-minute lesson plan that covers:
Minors’ right to reproductive health care
Motion graphic (or film) about health care services & contraceptives
Information about how & where teens can get services
Planning activity to prepare teen to see a clinician
2013 Annual Report
© 2014 Healthy Teen Network
The
Youth 360°

Frame
allows communities to recognize, explore, & address the social determinants of health.
How & Where
We Live, Learn,
& Play
Matters
"We spent the year engaging
in the age-old tradition of storytelling...
both to create resources you can use...as well as to listen to what you have to say about the work we do."
-Pat Paluzzi, President & CEO
To achieve
better outcomes
for youth across diverse populations, we must consider the range
of social determinants
for the individual, in our relationships, communities, & society.
Individual
Relationship
Community
Societal
Thank You
Board of Directors
Staff
Board of Directors
(pictured top, left to right): Treasurer, Matthew Greaser; Nadine Finigan; Treasurer, Anthony Vela; Vice Chair, Catherine Watson; Chair, Bill Bacon; Judith Herrman; LaVerne Morrow Carter; & Ex Officio, Dana Goodrow.
Not Pictured:
Secretary, Donna Lynn; Marjorie Kulash; & Brigid Riley
Staff
(pictured top, left to right): Allison Tomai Felsen, Shanise Taylor, Dawn Ireton, Janet Max, Mila Garrido Fishbein, Bob Reeg, Gina Desiderio, Deborah Chilcoat, Kelly Connelly, Rita Lassiter, Mousumi Banikya-Leasburg, Alexandra Eisler, Pat Paluzzi, Genevieve Martínez García, & Valerie Sedivy
Audrey Hillman Fisher Foundation
Baltimore Community Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Casey Family Services Foundation
CLER Foundation
Duke Endowment
Elsie Hillman Fisher Foundation
Engle Family Foundation
Henry John Simonds Foundation
Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation
Lilah Hilliard Fisher Wise Foundation
Mircoedge
Nina Baldwin Fisher Foundation
Poulton Family Foundation
Vanguard Endowment

Terry Adams
Elena Aguel
Adrian Alday
Ileana Amado
Keisha Ashe
William Bacon
Mousumi Banikya-Leaseburg
Tris Beats
Vanessa Bennett
Joan Blaik
Beth Blonder
Carolyn Bobb
Fredalene Bowers
Diana Bramham
Clarissa Campbell
Amy Carlo
Laverne Carter
Melissa Carter
Carol Cassell
Deborah Chilcoat
Sarah Coakley
Daniel Colon-Ramos
Dan Connelly
Kelly Connelly
Kevin Connelly
Ladina Connelly
Mary Anne Connelly
Meggie Connelly
Pat Connelly
Timothy & Negah Connelly
Jon Crames
Michele Deatrick
Cynthia Diefenbeck
Joseph DiPinto
Dorothy Dobbyn
Brendan Dorr
Don Drehoff
Michael Dyse
Joshua & Gina Edmison
Amber Eisenmann
Alexandra Eisler
Angela Esteva

Brian Felsen
Elizabeth Felsen
Laverne (Keybe) Fields
Nadine Finigan
Pete & Athena Fischer
Jacob Fishbein
Pat Flanagan
Paul Florsheim
John Forrester
Diane Franck
Janice Frates
Claudia French
Jenny Garcia
Mila Garrido
Vanessa Geffard
Marsha Gilbert
Joan Gildea
Dana Goodrow
Matthew Graeser
Nekia Griffin
Daniel J. Grim, II
Elizabeth Grossman
Pat Gurevitch
Pat Haggerty
Patricia Halle
Lillian Harris
Donald Heacock
Daniel Herrman
Judith Herrman
Tiffany Hofer
Laura Holland
Catherine Horvath
Coleman Hutchinson
Dawn Ireton
Lisa Kline
Marjorie & Damien Kulash
Nancy Kurtz
Kyle Lafferty
Rita Lassiter
Susan Laugen
Bea Leopold

Diane Leopold
Judy Leopold
Lisa Leslie
Jennifer Levy-Peck
Elizabeth Link
Tre Lou
Donna Lynn
Teja Madhavan
Richard & Marjorie Maher
Patricia Manning
Charles Marquardt
Genevieve Martinez
Pedro Martinez
Janet Max
Laurie Max
Rodney Max
Susan McEntire
Richard Mehlman
Linda Meisel
Cynthia Mobley
Patricia Mudd
Caitlin Munoz
Nancy Nelson
Milton Newton
Judy Norsigian
Sheila Overton
Micheal & Tatiana Paluzzi
Nathan & Brooke Paluzzi
Patricia Paluzzi
Sandy Paluzzi
Victoria A. Paluzzi
Fran Panzo
Ellen Papetti
Eugene Park
Kay Phillips
Lilibeth Pipo
Nancy Pittson
Alison Politziner
Sammy Politziner
Mary Prince
Kathy Putnam

Rebecca Raham
Bob Reeg
Brigid Riley
Mia Rosa
Erin Rossitto
Jennifer Saylor
T. Schweitzer
Timothy Schweizer
Cheryl Scoma
Valerie Sedivy
Lisa Simon
Jamal Smith
Freya Sonenstein
Esther Starer
Claire Stern
Irene Stesch
Tonya Stevens
Jane Stokes
Nathalie Sviedrys
Kate Swift-Scanlan
Jan Sykes
Shanise Taylor
Camille Terk
Marcia Tomai
Thomas Tomai
Allison Tomai Felsen
Norma Uriguen
Derrek Vernon
Catherine Watson
Mary Ann Watters
Gladys Weisberger
Deborah Wepman
Noah Wepman
Anthony White
Gloria Willis
Melania & Steven Wimayer
Lisbeth Winarsky
Wendy Wolf
Carol Woolf
Lisa Yarmis
Laurie Zabin

We envision a national community where all adolescents & young adults, including teen parents, are supported & empowered to lead healthy sexual, reproductive, & family lives.
Vision
Technical Assistance:
The Care & Nurturing of Professionals
Starting from Scratch
“There were times early on when you thought, ‘Man, how much longer can I do this?’”
A ripple effect of knowledge-sharing spread throughout the state, softening negative attitudes toward alternatives to abstinence-only education & easing the transition to evidence-based programming in some communities.
Technical Assistance
The Care & Feeding of Professionals
In addition to the Mobile project, the Alabama State Department of Public Health & several individual counties have secured their own federal & private funding for evidence-based programming.
“For Healthy Teen Network to be able to share their expertise with me and then me be able to replicate that same kind of an activity in Alabama, that’s far reaching.”
When Jamie decided that she needed help, she reached out to Healthy Teen Network. Access to our library of trainings, educational resources, conferences, & experts provided Jamie with the resources she needed to build a stronger organization.
Provided with sufficient support, this is no easy task. In a state like Alabama, where friends & colleagues working in the field of adolescent sexual health education can be few & far between, it’s even more difficult. ACPTP was (& continues to be) the only organization in the state providing education & support for youth-serving professionals working in adolescent sexual & reproductive health.
Expenses
Sources of Income
"I’m 21 now; I got here when I was 19. I basically thought there was no hope for me. But I’m going to have a diploma in my hand, & I have a beautiful 3 year old."
-Tashira
Tashira (21) & Graciela (18) became mothers while attending Dr. Pedro Alquiza Campos High School. In May 2014, they both graduated & received diplomas.

“We are here, together, having our own kids & we are graduating,” Tashira said with pride.
The
Path to
Opportunity
“I’ve gone to other conferences & you feel disconnected, like you are not part of something unless you know somebody in the professional network itself. Whereas at this particular conference, even the staff are very open, friendly, accommodating, & really passionate about the work that they do.”

The conference exposed Danette to new models of engagement & understanding which have helped her think critically about how to best support young families. “It opened up avenues for me to begin thinking critically from an education perspective how to best support families in a traditional education setting.” In the process, she’s been able to transform the way the high school’s educators interact with students.
The
Path to
“Being at the conference you feel like you are a part of something."-Danette
Teaching the Teachers
2013 Healthy Teen Network conference attendees had the chance to learn from two young mothers whose lives had been transformed by participating in the FLC program.

Graciela & Tashira held court: drawing on personal experience from motherhood & their peer educator roles, the duo shared their health education best practices with a receptive audience.
Suggested Citation:
Healthy Teen Network. (2014). Stories worth sharing: 2013 Annual report. Baltimore: Author. http://prezi.com/sclmciy7hbiu/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy
Technical Assistance:
The Care & Nurturing of Professionals
Healthy Teen Network approached Jamie to discuss a project in Mobile, a county in which abstinence-only education dominated the curriculum in a state with one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the nation.
Collaborating with Healthy Teen Network increased ACPTP’s ability to effectively serve educators statewide & make dramatic strides toward the acceptance of evidence-based sexuality education programs (programs proven through rigorous evaluation to be effective at reducing sexual risk-taking behavior).
Building a Foundation
Technical Assistance
The Care & Feeding of Professionals
Today, Jamie is optimistic about the future of sexual health education in Alabama. She’s confident that ACPTP has the support it needs to make a difference & she knows that through Healthy Teen Network she has the network of friends & colleagues necessary to keep moving forward.
Finding a Home
Jamie’s experience with Healthy Teen Network wasn’t limited to the confines of a training room or statehouse. In fact, the incredible impact of projects like Mobile is only part of the value created by the human connections that occur behind the scenes.
In 2006, Jamie Keith was hired as Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s (ACPTP, www.actp.org) 4th Executive Director in its 4th year of existence.
Almost immediately, she had to sort out fundamental questions about the identity & future of ACPTP, while continuing to provide assistance to teens, professionals, policymakers, & parents across the state.
In 2009, Johnson & Johnson funded Healthy Teen Network to offer broad support for select organizations implementing evidence-based education programs, with the goal of preparing these organizations to compete for the newly funded federal program, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative.
“I used to go around the state, & I couldn’t point to one evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program anywhere in the state of Alabama. Those were sad days.”
The response from Mobile & other areas of the state was encouraging. Youth-serving professionals from schools & community organizations drove up to 5 hours to attend trainings & receive guidance on program implementation.
“We could begin to feel a little isolated, a little woe is me,” Jamie describes.
“Healthy Teen Network helped in getting my organization equipped with the confidence & the knowledge to boldly talk about this issue in a way that’s not off-putting to the various audiences that we interact with.”
Social determinants
of health

elements in the environment in which we live, learn, & play—shape our health & well-being.
More than that, the Mobile project has helped young people find their voice so they can be advocates for what's important to them, not only in the arena of sexual health education & access to services, but any issue.
During the training, youth participants learned how to craft an advocacy message & deliver their message effectively. The skill building & opportunity to practice led students to remark about how empowered they felt about voicing their concerns & interests to policymakers.
Following the Healthy Teen Network trainings in Mobile, ACPTP & affiliated organizations applied for and won a CDC Teen Pregnancy Prevention grant, & the Mobile County Health Department has been implementing new programs for the last four years. The impact associated with the grant program has made Mobile County clinics more friendly & accessible to teens, while ensuring that medically accurate, evidence-based information necessary to make smart personal health decisions is available.
As Jamie says, the
"care & feeding"
of community members is the part of Healthy Teen Network she experiences on a weekly basis. Knowing that there is a place to turn, not just for resources but for a genuine connection to colleagues who understand exactly how she’s feeling, this is what keeps her grounded, committed, & renewed.
What I know I can get from Healthy Teen Network is solid information & care & concern. It’s an organization that is deeply committed to this issue.
We are really a small group of people when you think about it, working on this issue across the country. There aren’t many of us, & having the opportunity to come together both professionally & for some fun is really critically important.
Mighty MT
Using Graphic Novels
to Engage Youth
MT Finds His Voice
Using Graphic Novels
to Engage Youth
“Graphic novels explore issues, they do things like that, but they come in all forms. We tend to think of comic books as simply sequential art that comes in frames, but a graphic novel is much more than that, so it can be almost anything. It can be primarily art with some narrative in it, or it can be narrative with some art in it. So, it’s just a very cool medium that allows an enormous amount of flexibility.”
-Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Jonathon Scott Fuqua
MT Finds His Voice
After the presentation, the young women were approached by health educators from around the nation who applauded their resilience.

“People weren’t talking to me, they were going to talk to them, & I think that was really powerful & moving,” Danette remarked.

Immersing themselves in the positive energy of the conference gave Tashira & Graciela a newfound sense of confidence. Workshopping aside individuals who have devoted their lives to helping young parents created trust & hope for the future. Conference seminars gave them knowledge to pass along to their peers, their community, & their children. Danette believes the conference redefined how Tashira & Graciela think about their future career paths while helping them to develop both personally & professionally.
Healthy Teen Network is about so much more than the statistical analysis, rigorously tested & evaluated methodologies, & hard data often required by policy makers & grantmakers. For members, the conference is an opportunity to discuss better approaches to talking about adolescent health with young adults & increasing capacity to serve. For teens like Tashira and Graciela, Healthy Teen Network is part of the larger support system necessary to rebuild confidence in themselves & their future.
Opportunity
The
Path to
The Story in Numbers
With inspiring presentations from speakers such as Tashira and Graciela, conference attendees gain a new understanding of the incredible promise of pregnant and parenting teens.

“We are seen as just a number, ‘Oh, they are going to be a dropout.’ We're seen as a dropout rate,” says Tashira. “They’re pregnant; they’ve ruined their life.”
Like most parents, pregnant & parenting teens are extremely motivated to offer their children a good life. They quickly realize that an education & a career are necessary, & with the right supports, they will complete high school & eagerly seek further education or training.
Improving The Lives
An Assessment of
Needs & Opportunities
of Pregnant & Parenting Teens & Their Children
Key Highlights
Conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders
Facilitated focus groups with pregnant & parenting teens
Developed logic model to connect goals with activities
Conducted site visits to public & alternative schools, youth-serving organizations, & health service facilities
Developed report including needs, assets, & recommendations to strengthen services & programming
GKFF funded Healthy Teen Network to conduct a community assessment of the services & programs available for pregnant & parenting teens in Tulsa, Oklahoma, then develop a report with recommendations to strengthen services & programming.

Healthy Teen Network advocates for the specialized service needs of pregnant & parenting teens to be prioritized in family & youth policies & practices.
With help from their families, other caring adults, and public and private asset-building resources & services, they can avoid some of the challenges they might otherwise face.
One example of an organization working to improve outcomes for pregnant & parenting teens is the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) aims to improve outcomes for pregnant & parenting teens & families; GKFF works to increase access to high quality family planning services & childcare services & to reduce dropout rates.
The dreams of these two young mothers were built at Campos High, an ordinary school with an
extraordinary
commitment to expectant & parenting youth. The high school takes an alternative approach to embracing pregnant & parenting youth that most traditional school atmosphere would not. At Campos High, young parents are equipped to earn their diploma & empowered to become health advocates.
Tashira said that she will “cry like a baby” if she gets into DePaul this year where she plans to study nutrition & is considering a career as a health educator. Graciela is determined to become a social worker so that she can be there for struggling children.
Tashira, Graciela, & their classmates participate in the Lolita Lebron Family Learning Center (FLC), a unique program within the school that supports the academic progress & achievement of pregnant & parenting youth. In addition to their core curriculum, young parents are provided with early childhood support services, personal academic mentors & courses on prenatal & childhood development.

The FLC was started in 1993 to help women who had dropped out of school to raise their families. In the 1990s & early 2000s, it was a program for women ages 14-55, many of whom were struggling with basic needs like shelter & food. To make it easier for struggling mothers, FLC allowed students to come back to earn their high school diploma, even if they had dropped out at some point.
In 2002 the program was absorbed by the high school to work with only teens. As it is today, the school is small—only 165 students, & 20% of that population is usually parenting students, with an onsite child care for infants 6 weeks to 15 months old.
“When I got here I was really surprised. To see the teachers, mentors, & the students, it makes you want to come to school more. It makes you want to push for my goal to actually finish school. These people actually care, not like other schools who don’t care about you.” -Graciela
In 2013, Assistant Principal & Director of Lolita Lebron FLC Danette Sokacich received a call for proposals for the annual Healthy Teen Network conference. She saw a chance to share the experience of pregnant & parenting students in a high school setting, an uncommon venue for providers of pregnancy support services. Healthy Teen Network gladly accepted this unique proposal.
A Part of Something
Danette had been attending Healthy Teen Network’s conference for years, “It’s an amazing opportunity for professionals to come together to share best practices about the work that they are doing & exchange ideas in a setting that is very professional but also collegial.”
“It was really amazing to see how many people actually care about it, how many want to learn. It was really amazing to see that people are everywhere that actually care about us.” -Graciela
“It changed me, to learn something & come practice it at my school or in my life...it changed me as a mother.” -Tashira
In reality, hope & opportunity are the defining characteristics of the participants & practitioners in Healthy Teen Network’s members’ programs. Sharing their stories of resilience reminds us of why Healthy Teen Network is committed evidence-based approaches.
“I want to have a voice for all of these people. There is going to be a time when a person can’t have a voice for themselves, & I want to be able to have that voice for them & to really stick up for them," Tashira says.
“I want to keep being an advocate for my community." -Tashira
Graphic novels are great example of how teachers, health educators, & other youth-supporting professionals can maximize their impact with youth by using content that interests youth, while increasing literacy skills. Graphic novels, they can be powerful tools for engagement, bringing in youth culture to the lesson & addressing difficult but relevant topics such as bullying.
Graphic novels—distinguished by their heavy use of imagery with text—have enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. Graphic novels are particularly useful in developing literacy skills among reluctant readers & readers for whom the language of the book is not their first. Moreover, many youth simply enjoy reading graphic novels.
“It’s not that I don’t like to read, but I don’t read, like a lot. I usually either just hang out with friends or play games. But when I do read graphic novels, it’s hard to stop.”
-Baltimore City Youth
But there are some things we can make simpler, such as making sure the young people we serve, live near, care about, & educate know that they have the right to high quality sexual health care & that we care enough to help them get it.
Also available in Spanish!
See our website for the motion graphic & lesson plan!
Using Graphic Novels
to Engage Youth
Healthy Teen Network successfully ran a crowdfunding campaign in the summer of 2013, raising $5,000, to fund printing & distribution of
Mighty MT
, a graphic novel that addresses the important issues of self-esteem, peer relations, & bullying. The graphic novel will be distributed among Baltimore City middle schools in the fall of 2014, along with a lesson plan.
Thank You for Your Support!
Mighty MT
MT Finds His Voice
To support use of
Mighty MT
, Healthy Teen Network developed a complementary lesson plan, for use in a variety of settings, such as after school programs or the academic classroom.
Mighty MT
MT Finds His Voice
Lesson Plan
Lesson Plan Goal:
Raise awareness among middle-school aged youth about bullying & empower youth with conflict resolution skills, while using a medium—the graphic novel—that is popular with & appealing to youth.
You make a difference!
Opportunity
Full transcript