Did you have good information about sexuality and sexual health when you were a teen?
My parents did their best, but it was kind of a weird talk! I knew enough to be smart about it and make good choices. I also had a great network of supportive friends and good mentors who were adults.
I remember my mother was very supportive of my choices when she knew I’d made sexual health related choices. She was just awesome about it because by the time I was choosing to make those decisions I was old enough to be able to do so in a responsible way. I’m thankful for that.
Why is it important for young people to have accurate information & resources?
So many people aren’t as lucky as I was to have people around them who they can talk to. It’s impossible to talk to your parents. (Often times it’s awkward at best!) I didn’t really talk to them that much, but to other adults or older peers that I trusted. We all need someone, especially young women, because there are a lot of weird and private and sometimes embarrassing questions. And if you don’t have the right resources it can just lead to a lot of bad (and sometimes life-altering) decisions.
And really, we should all feel really beautiful and empowered. If you have accurate information and resources you can be physically and emotionally healthy in those choices. And also feel great about your decisions because you can make them for good and healthy reasons.
Why is adolescent sexual health important?
Simply put, knowledge is power. And the more you understand as you’re going through that crazy part of your life, the better of you’ll be for the future. The phrase “it takes a village”, well, it’s true! Healthy communities empower young people to make healthy decisions in all kinds of ways. I want to see a future of people who are equipped to succeed and get off on the right track and it’s easy to deviate when you haven’t been given that chance because you just don’t know any better. And really, it shouldn’t be this weird, taboo, scary thing for teens. They’ll figure things out on their own; it’s just a matter of giving them the right information to be their super smart rock star selves because someone gave a damn enough to help them understand what the heck is going on down there!
Why do you give to the Annex?
It’s supporting young people to make good choices. It’s giving them the information they need to be super smart about their sexual health. And, I just love the staff at the Annex! They have an excellent combination of programming: youth development, sexual health education, and access to clinical services. Plus, my employer matches my contributions dollar for dollar so my impact is stretched even further.