Local Youth Create Council To Educate About Reproductive Health
“We’re committed to the effort to provide birth control, STI testing and sexual health counseling services as well as education to young adults and teens in our area,” said Maison Jobe, a senior at Brainerd High School.
The youth advisory council is made up of 10 students in grades 7 through 12 throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area that have an important message to share about reproductive health.
“It’s not a taboo topic; it’s a good topic and one that needs to be talked about,” said Olivia Behrens, a Brainerd High School freshman.
The teens in the council joined to make their peers aware and let them know about their options.
“Especially hearing something from a young person can be more effective for a young person,” said Brainerd High School senior Laura Wadsten.
As for one of the younger members, Olivia hopes to spread the message of awareness to others her age during the transition into high school.
“Getting to know what relationships are like and it’s important to know that you want to be safe while being in those relationships,” Behrens said.
The youth advisory council has been brainstorming a lot of new ideas, but one that was put into action is a new texting number option for the clinic.
“A lot of teenagers and young adults aren’t necessarily comfortable with forms of communication like phone calls or with face-to-face conversations about sensitive issues that are very personal to them,” Jobe said.
But this group of teens is very willing to talk about the issues.
“They really get the mission and we really want this to be a safe and confidential place where youth can come to get the services they need and get accurate information,” said Becky Twamley, Executive Director of “WeARE” The Clinic. “We feel that is so important and they really get that message and what better way to get that message to other youth than through their peers.”
“It’s just been fun to see the progress that we have made in such a short amount of time,” said Julia Chock, a sophomore at Brainerd High School.
The group meets about every other week to discuss new ideas to reach youth in the community.