Sometimes, the stories we hear on the news suggest that all American youth are troubled and without direction. However, I remain hopeful. Since 2004, my Peacemaker Family Center (PFC) team have been intentionally mentoring young adults in our community, infusing them with positive messages. We have been providing sexual risk avoidance education to youth and young adults in Miami-Dade County, Florida, with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As of this fall, our PFC team has served 38,000 youth ages 10 to 19 primarily in our public junior high and high schools. Our evidence-based curriculum includes strategies to help students build healthy life skills, empower them to make healthy decisions, provide tools and resources to prevent pregnancy and STI’s, and prevent youth engagement in other risky behaviors. In 2010, we branded our program PlanBe_ with the campaign “Future Ready”. The campaign declaration is:
“My choices today affect my tomorrow.
I am the only one that can fulfill my destiny.
I vow to make choices that protect my future.” #FutureReady
You can read more information on our program by clicking this link to the program website: PlanBe_.
In September, we were notified that our PlanBe_ program was selected by HHS to begin providing these services in the community surrounding Trinity Harlem, our church in Harlem, New York. As a result, we will be providing services to a total of 7,700 young people this school year. I’m so excited that we are able to offer these empowering trainings to young adults in two communities.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey