HEALTHY TEENS COALITION
OF MANATEE COUNTY
The Healthy Teens Coalition (HTC) is dedicated to reducing risky behaviors by providing Manatee County youth with the knowledge and skills to make informed choices about their physical, mental, and emotional health and
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Girl Talk is an in- school program, which the HTC provides as part of the Manatee County school district’s teen pregnancy prevention curriculum at middle schools - located in the highest risk zip codes - as well as with the Teen Age Parenting Program (TAPP) students in the school system.
Guy Code is the counterpart to Girl Talk, for boys, and is offered as part of the school district’s in-school teen pregnancy prevention curriculum.
Persons Living with HIV Team – The HTC coordinates a speaker series of Persons Living with HIV, who share their experiences with teens as part of the school district’s teen pregnancy prevention curriculum.
Go Grrrls is a nationally validated therapeutic mentoring program which is offered as a before and after school program, and during the summer, for middle and high school girls. The program focuses on empowering girls to focus on their personal strengths, self awareness, and self esteem, with an emphasis on education/career goal setting and planning for the future. These therapeutic mentoring sessions are facilitated by experienced, dedicated human services professionals.
The HTC launched Go Guyz, the counterpart to our flagship Go Grrrls program, to engage young males between 11 and 19 years old who may be at higher risk for behaviors such as poor academic performance, violence, drug/alcohol use, and teen parenting. As with Go Grrrls, the goal of this therapeutic mentoring program is to increase achievement/success and decrease risky behaviors among our participants. Sessions are facilitated by experienced, dedicated human services professionals.
This program, launched in early 2014, trains a selected group of youth leaders to serve as Teen Health Educators to peers and parents. These Teen Health Educators will focus their peer education on the migrant farmworker and minority teen populations in order to reduce high risk behaviors, including teen dating violence, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses.
HTC POLICY/ADVOCACY INITIATIVES
National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Day/Month recognition – The HTC conducts activities/events every May to recognize the national month dedicated to this issue and to raise awareness, locally, of how it impacts our youth and community, as a whole.
Local government proclamations: We engage local government entities in recognizing the impact of teen births, including contributing factors and long term implications, in Manatee County, through proclamations, including the Bradenton and Palmetto city councils, the Manatee County Board of Commissioners, and the school board. We do this in partnership with our Youth Advisory Council.
Annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awards Reception: The HTC holds a reception to raise awareness and visibility of Teen Pregnancy prevention Month and to recognize local nonprofits, young people, and elected officials who have shown leadership in prevention and intervention strategies.
Community engagement/awareness with the public, families, and elected officials on the critical issue of teen births in the county and contributing factors, such as annual co-sponsorship with the Manatee Youth Commission of the Let’s Talk townhall. In 2012 the HTC organized and hosted a school board candidate debate to highlight candidate position and ideas on issues impacting our teens.
The Healthy Teens Coalition periodically coordinates professional development sessions for health/human services professionals related to youth health, safety, and wellbeing.