Online Program

Teaching gender equity to two populations of vulnerable adolescents in Chicago

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pat W. Mosena, PhD, Options for Youth, Chicago, IL
Anita Murphy, M.S., Options for Youth, Chicago, IL
Access to reproductive health information and services is limited among adolescents growing up in underserved neighborhoods, as evidenced by high rates of teen pregnancy, STIs and HIV/AIDS. For twenty years, Options for Youth (OFY) has served two of the most vulnerable populations of adolescents in Chicago: 1) adolescent mothers who have a baby before the age of 18, and 2) adolescent African American males growing up on Chicago’s south side. The Subsequent Pregnancy Program (SPP) has helped more than 4,000 adolescent mothers delay a second pregnancy and Peer Advocates for Health (PAH) has trained 240 young men from 42 south side high schools to work as peer advocates for male health. Primary goals and implementation strategies are similar for both programs and seek to: improve reproductive health knowledge and lifestyle choices; increase communication skills; and build a commitment to give back to their own communities. Both programs provide intense training and use well-trained adolescents to get critical information back to their schools and neighborhoods. Through monthly “Let’s Talk About It” sessions, female SPP Peer Educators and male Peer Advocates provide co-ed presentations to students and parents which are designed to “break the ice and get the conversation started” about sensitive but vitally important topics for young people in these communities. The unique opportunity to have both a female and a male perspective, presented to their peers by well-trained adolescents, is one of the most effective ways we have found to teach and model gender equity to this age group.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe effective program models for two populations of vulnerable, high-risk adolescents in Chicago. Discuss curriculum and implementation strategies for improving reproductive health and lifestyle choices among these two populations of adolescents. Describe lessons learned and needed services among these adolescents in Chicago.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I founded and continue to direct both the Subsequent Pregnancy and Peer Advocates for Health programs for high-risk adolescents in Chicago.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.