Keep ‘The Talk’ going...
Nov 29, 2012 | 774 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two weeks ago Maggie Corson wrote a Letter to the Editor, Consider the Consequences, sharing a story of finding two (used) pregnancy test kits on a bench in the Matheson Preserve last month. I was moved to take a moment to thank you. Not just because I am a PREP Coordinator and we appreciate the plug. I’m grateful to you because of your concern for the wellbeing of another person. Your choice to write speaks volumes to the power of empathy. The practice of empathy shown through a public forum, available to all of our community members, is an act of courage and my hope is that these random acts of empathy will move others to act and empower others, like myself.

My work has met with many gifts and closed doors since I came on board with my Co-Coordinator Pippa Thomas back in August of this year and continue to solidify my commitment to the youth in our community. Our service to this community goes beyond teaching youth ages 14-19 comprehensive sexual health education. We are committed to the fidelity of the All4You! evidence-based curriculum which includes, self-respect, tools for setting boundaries, building empathy through service projects. We guide youth to become aware through knowledge of their choices and realizing with these choices come positive and negative consequences that not only impact their future but the lives of their peers, family and our community. This knowledge has the opportunity to keep them safe, both physically and emotionally.

My hope in writing in response to Maggie is that we keep ‘The Talk’ going. A conversation with self is where you can begin.

Asking yourself, what are my boundaries? What do I want for my life? How can I give myself the deepest respect and love? The capacity to ask yourself these questions and the practice of talking about these sensitive topics with others, is just that, practice. A muscle to develop, awkward in the application at first, but with practice and commitment to anything we want for ourselves, it does get easier. And yes it is an act of vulnerability.

PREP’s TalkShop upcoming classes for teens age 14-19 begin January 22 through March 9 2013, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the MARC from 3-4:30 p.m. Call us; ask questions. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on avenues for our program to explore to minimize, better yet, eliminate another case of a woman being in a situation that leads her to take a pregnancy test at the Matheson Preserve, get in contact with us. No matter her age, this woman’s experience feels very scary and alone to me, and my heart goes out to her.

 Jenn Oestreich

PREP Coordinator/Facilitator

– Moab

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