Archive for March, 2013

Girl Talk: Heart to Heart

Posted: March 27, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Uncategorized, Youth Programs

A Candid Conversation on Womanhood  by Chase Dreams Not Boys

Some good ole fashioned “Girl Talk” with the ladies of Chase Dreams Not Boys! Be empowered – define yourself –believe in yourself – discover yourself – be inspired – love yourself – motivate yourself – overcome your troubles – be proud to be a woman – CHASE YOUR DREAMS!

To find out more about Chase Dreams Not Boys, visit them online at http://www.cdnb.org.

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

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A Candid Conversation on Teen Parenting by the First Baptist Church of Glenarden Hagar Ministry

Mother kissing forehead of babyProverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” But what if the child is the one doing the training? In today’s society, teen pregnancy is an all-too common statistic.
How do you raise a child when you are merely a child yourself? I, like many others, had to learn how first hand. Though I was not a teen mother per say, I got pregnant at the age of 19 and gave birth to my daughter at age 20. When I got pregnant, I assumed that I would have my mother’s help and guidance in raising my daughter.  That was not to be. Unfortunately, while six months pregnant, my mother died after suffering complications from a heart transplant a few months prior.

Here I was practically a child myself faced with the task of raising up a child by myself as a single mother. I did not have my own place, my own money and I made many mistakes early on. Looking back, I wish there would have been a program like First Baptist Church of Glenarden’s Hagar Ministry. The Hagar Ministry’s purpose is to reach out to expectant teens and teen parents to disciple and equip them mentally, physically, socially and spiritually. Because I did not have that guidance, my poor planning and lack of knowledge landed me in situations I had never planned on. When my daughter was a year old we lost our home and ended up in a homeless shelter for four months.  Who would have known that those credit card offers they bombard you with in college could have a lasting effect when mishandled? Certainly not I.

All too often, when not properly trained, we make poor choices and if left uncorrected those choices are passed down from generation to generation. After going through the system, I decided that the only way to keep my child from having to experience the hardships I was facing was to make a change for the better. I was ready to train up my child, but that first meant I needed to be trained. For me that started when I submitted my life to God. As I began to understand God’s plan and purpose for my life, I realized that if He could forgive me for getting pregnant then so could I. He began to raise up people who would help me to understand God’s design for parenting and the responsibility that comes with it. I realized that if I wanted my daughter to make better choices, she had to see me doing the same.  The responsibility was ultimately mine and I did that with help.

Though it would appear that teen pregnancy is on the decline in the United States, it is still a major issue that must be addressed. Statistics show that four out of 10 girls in the U.S. become pregnant at least once before age 20. If it takes a village to raise a child, then what can we do to further decrease the number of teen girls that get pregnant each year? Are we as parents educating our children on the importance of sexual purity? Are we teaching them not only with our words, but also through our actions? What is the village doing to help in the process? In an effort to address the pressing needs of pregnant and parenting teen girls ages 13-19 in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area (specifically Prince George’s County, Md.), the Hagar Ministry is doing what it can to help make a difference. Under the leadership of Carolyn O’Bryant, Hagar Ministry director, the ministry provides young parents the mentoring, teaching, encouragement, guidance and ongoing physical and spiritual support needed during this precarious time in their lives to ensure the best possible quality of life for them and their children. By helping teen moms make better choices, we believe the effort will ripple outward and impact the lives of their children, family and community.

How do I know this to be true? Well, because of my support system, determination and much prayer, today my daughter is an 18-year-old college freshman. I am living proof that teen moms can overcome the odds stacked against them. You can, too!

 

To find out more about the FBCG Hagar Ministry, contact hagar@fbcglenarden.org.

 

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: “I’m a Teen Mom, Educate Me”

Posted: March 25, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Youth Programs

A Candid Conversation on Teen Moms/Teen Pregnancy Prevention by Queen Afi Gaston
(Founder, Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags)

Queen Afi

I AM A TEEN MOM! EDUCATE ME: The Guttmacher Institute (2006), a New York City based quantitative research organization, reported that teenage pregnancy in the United States is equal to approximately 750,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age. While the rate of teenage pregnancy seemed to be declining since reaching its peak in 1990, it still continues to be a major concern to health care providers, education systems, and even the governmental agencies that will provide support for these teenagers and their unborn children.

Why Am I Afraid to Tell:  Parents don’t understand the peer pressure that teen girls face by teen boys.  Parents may criticize  judge, and/or blame teen moms which can cause depression and stressors for teen mom and baby. Parents seem so critical and many of them don’t understand because they want better for their children, but we have to understand that children will make mistakes. Suggestion, parents we want to open the door and always effectively communicate the hard topics with our children such as sex. Parents we have to share when we were teenagers because ultimately that’s what saves their life. They will remember the things we have shared with them and naturally want to do better.

What Teen Moms Need:  Teen Moms need to know that we care and understand that have made a mistake and we say mistake because they are minors having children. Teen Moms need their questions to be answered before the baby comes and more so after. It is not fair as parents and or legal guardians to disown the teen mom and leave her to make it on her own. Teen Moms are babies themselves, and need their parents to listen and care during pregnancy.

Facts about Teen Pregnancy: Teen pregnancy can have serious consequences for girls, including decreased chances of finishing school, a difficult financial future, and health risks for both the mother and the child. If you are thinking about having sex, it is important to know that the effects can last a lifetime. Almost 50 percent of teens have never considered how a pregnancy would affect their lives. Less than half of teen mothers ever graduate from high school and fewer than two percent earn a college degree by age 30. With increasing demands in schooling necessary to qualify for a well-paying job, it is more important than ever to finish high school.

Do Teen Girls Know About Ovulation:  I have been out in the community, schools, sex education programs, surrounding myself with teens and many of them know nothing about ovulation. Example, I asked a teen girl when you can get pregnant. She said, 7 days before the period, and another said, all month. Cleary we as parents have dropped the ball and many of us aren’t educating our teens on SEX EDUCATION because some of us are afraid, it’s against your religion, and/or no one told you.

1. Check the calendar: Ovulation most often occurs halfway through your menstrual cycle — the average cycle lasts 28 days, counting from the first day of one period (day one) to the first day of the next period. But as with everything pregnancy-related, there’s a wide range of normal here (anywhere from 23 to 35 days), and your own cycle may vary slightly from month to month. By keeping a menstrual calendar for a few months, you can get an idea of what’s normal for you. (When you become pregnant, this calendar will come in handy to get a better estimate of your baby’s due date!) If your periods are irregular, you’ll need to be even more alert for other signs of ovulation, so read on.

2. Listen to your body: If you’re like 20 percent of women, your body will send you a memo when it’s ovulating, in the form of a twinge of pain or a series of cramps in your lower abdominal area (usually localized to one side — the side you’re ovulating from).  Called mittelschmerz — German for “middle pain” — this monthly reminder of fertility is thought to be the result of the maturation or release of an egg from an ovary. Pay close attention, and you may be more likely to get the message. These are two very good tips to prevent pregnancy.

Empowering Teen Moms with Sex Education: Empowering families, communities and educators to help teens become healthy, contributing adults is a surefire way to strengthen our future. Statewide reports show a decline in teen pregnancy and teen birth rates which is positive for programs that provide teens with accurate, age-appropriate sex education, and access to confidential sexual health services (The Daily Freeman Journal, 2012). Parents educate your teens on sex education in your home or put them in a position where they can get right teachings on teen pregnancy prevention.

To learn more about Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags, visit them online at www.DVWMTS.org.

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: Looks that ROCK for Brown Girls!

Posted: March 25, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Youth Programs

Girlish Gab on Beauty by Kim (Brown Girlz Rock, Partners in Pretty)

Check out these looks that work for brown girls of all shades!

To find out more about the Partners in Pretty, visit them at http://www.facebook.com/partnersinpretty or follow on Instagram @partnersinpretty

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: 5 Tips to Glam Up Your Prom Makeup!

Posted: March 20, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Youth Programs

Girlish Gab on Beauty for Prom by Kia Darby (Yummy411, Partners in Pretty)

Young ladies, glam up your prom look with these tips from the ladies of Partners in Pretty!

To find out more about the Partners in Pretty, visit them at http://www.facebook.com/partnersinpretty or follow on Instagram @partnersinpretty

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: Understanding Beauty and Loving You

Posted: March 20, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Youth Programs

Girlish Gab on Beauty by Sade Nicholson (Host, The Selah Moments)

What is the true definition of beauty? Sade gets personal with us and offers an answer from a biblical perspective! Follow Sade on Twitter @Me_bySade

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Introducing ERCPCP’s Girl Talk 2013 beauty partner…  The Partners in Pretty! By Shana Janelle Swain (Partners in Pretty)

To find out more about the Partners in Pretty, visit them at http://www.facebook.com/partnersinpretty or follow on Instagram @partnersinpretty

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: The Importance of Safe Sex

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Uncategorized, Youth Programs

Girlish Gab on Safe Sex by Geneva Thomas (Sasha Bruce P.O.W.E.R. Program)

safety first1Having safe sex is so important. When you don’t practice safer sex it’s like playing Russian roulette with your life. It only takes one wrong decision and one good feeling to become a victim of an STD, and or the incurable STDs known as the four H’s (HIV, Hepatitis, Herpes or Human papillomavirus) and so much more. To all my, “I got this” or “my partner good, which means I’m good” people, please stop and think that diseases don’t come with a name or face. If you are sexually active go get tested and encourage your partner to get tested as well. Just because you are having sex with one person, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Getting tested should be just as important as making good grades in school, paying a bill, or even getting fresh. When you are in a relationship it’s very important to have an open line of communication with each other. By having unprotected sex and not getting tested is not the smartest choice because you could contract an STD, have no symptoms and live with it not knowing you have it.

To find out more about the Sasha Bruce Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education and Risk Reduction (P.O.W.E.R.) Program, visit them online at http://sbypowerprogram.com/

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: Double Standards

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Uncategorized, Youth Programs

Girlish Gab on Double Standards by D. McCrae (Sasha Bruce P.O.W.E.R Program)

double standards1According to the dictionary, double standards can be defined as a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups. When it comes to double standards, females are kept from making healthy decisions when it comes to sex. For example, a male can carry condoms around in his wallet or pocket but if a female were to carry condoms on her, she is seen as “easy” or promiscuous. However, this is not true, females should want to keep themselves protected from HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancy. Males can talk about sex but if a female does, she is considered to be a “hoe”, when there is a possibility that she has never had sex. These double standards are why females are talked down on and why males are praised. Parents also have double standards when it comes to both girls and boys. Girls are told to wait until marriage but boys are given condoms and are told to be safe. Today, people should have the choice to have sex before marriage and everyone should always keep themselves safe from anything that will harm them and responsibilities they aren’t ready for. Double standards are very annoying and should be challenged when they come up. Ladies should be able to carry condoms and not be viewed as “easy” and promiscuous, but viewed as smart and wanting to protect themselves.

To find out more about the Sasha Bruce Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education and Risk Reduction (P.O.W.E.R.) Program, visit them online at http://sbypowerprogram.com/

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: The Truth About STDs

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Uncategorized

Girlish Gab on STDs and STIs by Zoe Hoffman (Sasha Bruce P.O.W.E.R. Program)

get testedRecently, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) released numbers stating that there are an estimated 20 million new STD’s transmitted yearly. HPV (human papillomavirus) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, accounting for about 14 million of the 20 million new STD’s transmitted yearly. One of the more commonly known STD’s, HIV, affects less people but also accounts for 18,000 deaths in the USA per year. Not only are these STD’s causing severe health problems, they are also proving to be very costly. The cost of treating STD’s is estimated at 742$ million dollars annually!

This article also works to highlight the importance of treating one’s infection, “All STI’s are preventable. They’re all treatable, and many are curable. But if they’re left untreated, they can lead to pretty serious lifelong problems and even death…” according to Catherine Satterwhite, from the CDC.

The costs that these rising numbers of infections are creating are becoming too much. It’s important as women that we take matters in to our own hands to protect the health of our community. As a woman, I sometimes feel like the effects of STI’s are greater on my body. For example, HPV can make a woman become infertile, as well as cause cervical cancer. I feel that everybody should really come together and speak out on this issue because not enough people know about how wide spread this issue is becoming.

Remember, it’s always important to get tested!

To find out more about the Sasha Bruce Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education and Risk Reduction (P.O.W.E.R.) Program, visit them online at http://sbypowerprogram.com/

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.