One of our top priorities is to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy rates through real sexual education that is evidence-based and medically accurate. Not only do these unplanned pregnancies handicap future generations, they cost our state $155 million in lost economic potential every year. By ensuring teens have access to pregnancy prevention programs, we can keep young women on track to finish their education and achieve their dreams. We’re proud to say our efforts have already helped lower Mississippi’s teen birth rate, but we still have a long way to go.
Southern Regional Office
The Reproductive Health Ambassador program recruits and trains young women to educate their peers and parents about sexual health and relationships. Provided by the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative, these women have access to comprehensive workshops and opportunities to shadow professionals in the reproductive health field.
The abused and neglected girls of The Methodist Children’s Home are already at a social and economic disadvantage. The Girls Matter Program provides them with proper sexual education services including health screenings, STI and pregnancy testing, and access to birth control. The program is divided into two groups. Girls with Goals works with “at risk” teenagers who do not already have children, while Girls with Gifts addresses teenagers who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
The Mississippi Delta lacks evidence-based planned pregnancy services, resulting in high rates of unplanned pregnancy and infant mortality. Through one-on-one home visits, the Efforts to Outcome program works to reverse this trend by providing proper information on sexual health and prenatal health to women ages 16-24.
The Lanier High Teen Advocacy Program’s nurse-run teen clinic expands access to primary and preventative healthcare in this urban area. Their Teen Advisory Board has also established a peer-education training program using the Safer Choices evidence-based curriculum in order to encourage safe sex.
Incoming college freshman are particularly at risk for unplanned pregnancies, leading to a decrease in student retention and the overall graduation rate. This JSU program works to reverse this trend by educating incoming freshman about sexual health and how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, as well as providing accurate information about STIs. Weekly workshops utilizing the BART (Becoming a Responsible Teen) curriculum are the central focus.
The MCTPP partners with after school programs throughout the state to educate middle school students and their parents/guardians about sexual health. The curriculum consists of evidence-based sexual education, with follow-up booster sessions for reinforcement. Since the program launched, participants have seen an increased retention of the information learned and communication has increased within the participants’ families.
In collaboration with Mississippi First, Mississippi University for Women (MUW) announced the first Sexual Health Continuing Education Certificate (SHCEC) available for sexual health educators in Mississippi. Current teachers can now earn the SHCEC and Continued Education Units (CEUs) at MUW. Health Educators who are Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES or MCHES) can also receive CEUs in Sexual Health Education, the first in the state of Mississippi.
Hinds County, MS
The Encouraging Responsible and Informed Choices: Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is designed to support healthy physical and social environments and healthy behaviors through informing and educating adolescents concerning risky sexual behaviors, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted disease prevention.
Raising Mothers to Rise (RMR) is a program designed to serve pregnant and parenting teen mothers in North Mississippi. It will offer two classes per week, each lasting one hour. One class per week is for the pregnant teens and the other will be a teen mother support group. The teen mothers will begin attending the support group after their initial postpartum period has ended. The weekly classes will cover a variety of health and wellness topics relating to life goals and skills, education/career goals, pregnancy, childbirth, sexual health, preventing subsequent unplanned pregnancies and stages of childcare and parenthood.
Mound Bayou, MS
#ProjectRAD will focus on improving access to adolescent health services by providing preventive healthcare services regardless of a teen’s ability to pay. Delta Health Center OB/GYN staff will establish at least one afternoon a month to hold a Teen Health Clinic. Materials will be developed specifically targeting young people and will be used to recruit adolescents to visit a health clinic for preventive health services including sexual and reproductive health services. Additionally, adolescents will be able to see a healthcare provider at any time, not just during the Teen Health Clinic time.
The ECWF works with religious leaders to develop and implement meaningful sexual education programs within their congregations and surrounding communities. This year, the Faith in Women network members are assessing training options, curriculum choices and resource development.
The Women’s Foundation uses a two-generation approach to provide opportunities for and meet the needs of parents and their children together. We help mothers and guardians further their education and career training, while providing necessary childcare and early education to their children and grandchildren. With opportunity more readily available, multiple generations of Mississippi women can create paths to success.
Greater Jackson, MS area
Disability Rights Mississippi’s “Improving Opportunities Across Generations” program will involve intensive support and advocacy on behalf to two generations of twelve families to improve their educational and employment outcomes. This program will expand the depth and breadth of direct advocacy assistance thereby improving the stability of families who have children with disabilities. The program will provide information, supervised referrals, counseling, and legal advocacy as needed.
Many Mississippi women face dire social and economic barriers every day, limiting their opportunities and derailing their paths to success. We want to open more doors for more women by funding programs that offer career guidance and access to educational opportunities needed to pursue those careers. Our research-based methods have already helped hundreds of women reach a brighter future.
Female students enrolled in NEMCC’S Career Pathway program receive financial assistance for tuition, textbooks and childcare, as well as transportation needs like gas cards and car repairs. Students also go through the Tiger W.O.R.K.S. program for career counseling and employability training, including 12 months of post-exit follow-up services.
MS Community Colleges
Unplanned pregnancies often prevent women from completing their education. This national program partners community colleges with local health providers in order to provide female college students with online, college-credited sexual education and clinic resources for contraception methods. The goal is to offer greater access to quality health care options and, in turn, a better chance of graduating.
The Women’s College Completion Assistance Program helps female students relieve financial burdens with gas cards, hot meals from the cafeteria and paying for test fees. Students receive tablets for access to e-books, as well as access to support groups and seminars.
Low-income, first-generation, and disabled female students face even more obstacles than their peers on their way to graduating. The Women’s Emergency Fund helps lower these hurdles, providing financial support for food, gas, medicine and childcare. Students also have access to tutoring, career services and the “New Beginnings” support group.
Jackson / Raymond, MS
From medical issues to family crises, women often bear the brunt of financial emergencies. The Emergency Assistance Fund provides quick access to monetary support for women enrolled at Hinds so they don’t have to choose between paying tuition or addressing a financial crisis, like car trouble or medical bills. This support helps to improve student retention and graduation rates.
Every woman deserves a college education, but not all are academically prepared to even begin the coursework. The Corequisite Remediation Program consists of tutoring, career counseling lunch-and-learns, and S.T.E.M. profession guidance. In 2017, this program will help 60 women become college graduates.
The Project Gateway goal is to provide women who are students at Northwest Mississippi Community College with financial assistance for classroom and career readiness in cases where their existing educational funds have been exhausted. Northwest MS seeks to alleviate financial woes that may hinder women from maintaining full-time credit status for five consecutive semesters. Northwest MS also seeks to promote career readiness by ensuring Northwest women meet the financial needs associated with a career in their designated field.
The Women’s Emergency Assistance Fund at East Central Community College (ECCC) seeks to help female students circumvent any economic barriers they might encounter that would impede or cease completion of their educational and/or career goals.
The goal of the Women’s Emergency Fund II is to provide emergency funding to female students whose continued education is in jeopardy due to temporary financial emergencies or other situations that present a financial burden. The Women’s Emergency Fund II will also offer two workshops each month. Students who demonstrate a need for a more hands-on approach will be referred for academic coaching and/or counseling services.
Mayhew / Scooba, MS
Empowering Mentors to Promote Women’s Retention (EMPOWR) program seeks to increase the social integration and engagement, and ultimately retention, of nontraditional female students attending East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) through a peer mentoring program. Augmented with interactive speaker sessions, students learn more about available student services, career planning, financial aid, health, and relationship management. EMCC also proposes working with first generation women in jeopardy of dropping out at the Scooba campus.
Coahoma Community College Workforce Women’s Emergency Fund assists Coahoma Community College female students who are low income and in need of emergency assistance. The Fund will assist with short term financial emergencies such as assistance for transportation costs, automotive repairs, child care, utility bills, and educational expense not covered by financial aid.
For women overcoming hardships to enter college, support from like-minded peers is a vital and meaningful motivator to keep them in college. The EMPOWR program increases social integration, engagement and retention of female students attending Mississippi community colleges through peer mentoring programs and interactive speakers sessions.
The Community College Legal Clinic at Hinds Community College provides pro bono legal counsel to women through student information services and legal workshops. The legal team counsels women on student loan debt, fair housing, family law and predatory lending that often stress the finances of low-income women.