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Seminar focuses on teens

Features Editor

The implications of a television commercial directed toward teens is "The More You Know

…"

The same applies for parents, teachers, youth workers and anyone interested in having a positive impact on teenagers – "The more you know …"

Those who would like to know more about how to "Impact the Lives of Teens" are invited to attend a free two-hour seminar at the Family Life Center from 10 a.m. until noon Thursday, March 14.

The seminar will address teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and other risk behaviors among teens 12-18 years of age.

"We invite the public to attend this seminar as well as pastors, teachers and youth workers," said Terry Watkins, project director for the AIM (Abstinence in Motion) Project. "Statistics show that risk behaviors are taking their toll on our young people at an alarming rate. These are issues that need to be addressed and we need people in our community to come and learn how they can impact the lives of teens."

Watkins said teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease statistics in Alabama

are alarming.

During 1999, 14,838 teens became pregnant; 388 were ages 10 to 14 and 5,074 were ages 15 to 17.

Of the 10,069 live births to teens, 70.8 percent were to unmarried teens ages 10 to 19.

Of live births to teens, 78.3 percent were unintended, compared to 43.3 percent of live births to mothers ages 20-24.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are among the more than 20 sexually transmitted diseases contracted by teens in Alabama. During 2000, 6,046 teens ages 15-19 contracted chlamydia, 3,435 contracted gonorrhea and 38 contracted syphilis.

Sadly, Watkins said, once a young person enters into a sexual relationship, it becomes easier to engage in other sexual relationships, so the consequences repeat themselves and the destructive impact multiplies.

Nearly one in five Americans over the age of 12 are infected with an incurable, sexually transmitted disease. That’s nearly 20 percent of the population. Odds are that includes someone you know or someone your teen knows or it could be your teen.

That’s reason to be concerned.

That’s reason to attend the "Impact the Lives of Teens" from 10 a.m. until noon. March 14 at the Family Life Center, 1318 North Three Notch Street.

It will be two hours that could have a great impact on the lives of teens.