In the decade since the European Study Tour (EST) Advocates has seen a significant impact on both participants and communities as a result of the experience.
At the Community Level
Advocates believes that the area in which the 3Rs model has had—and can have—the most impact is when it is adopted by an organization at the community, regional, or state level. For this reason, Advocates decided after the first European Study Tours in 1998 and 1999, that encouraging the participation of EST teams of four or more people from a single state would be the most effective way to build support for Rights.Respect.Responsibility.® Since then, teams from California , Iowa, and Oregon, among many other states, have participated in the EST and have been actively working to implement the 3Rs at the local and state levels.
At the Individual Level
Many study tour participants have applied lessons learned from the EST upon their return home. Some examples include:
- 1998 study tour participant Evelyn Lerman wrote a book, Safer Sex: the New Morality, which details her personal reflections on teen sexuality and lessons learned from the EST. Prior to the study tour, Lerman, who has worked with teen mothers for most of her career, planned to write a book on adolescent motherhood. When she got to Europe, however, and had difficulty finding teen mothers, she chose instead to write about the prevention-based approaches that support comprehensive sexuality education and services so successful in the Netherlands, Germany, and France.
- Dr. Sylvester Braithwaite, a 1999 study tour participant, returned to his practice in South Florida to dramatically alter the way in which he provides reproductive and sexual health services to youth. In addition to tailoring his services to better meet the needs of young people, he has made it his mission to educate others about the 3Rs and the need for youth-friendly services through presentations at conferences and media interviews. Dr. Braithwaite and his wife, who is a singer, have also founded an edutainment company that travels throughout Florida to conduct performances, which are based on the 3Rs.
- 2002 participant Lindi Endicott has traveled twice to Romania to conduct trainings on the 3Rs for more than 250 teachers, students, and social workers. Ms. Endicott wrote an article on her work for the newsletter of a Romanian university, and a national magazine, Social Research and Intervention Magazine, published the nine-page article. In addition, she has given numerous presentations in the United States on her experience with the 3Rs and Romania, reaching more than 1,200 individuals with information on adapting the Campaign for use in other countries.