Eli, 18, works with Advocates for Youth and the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) as a member of the North Carolina Teen Health Now Council.
I have been involved in youth activism work since the seventh grade. I went to a small private school where I received comprehensive sex education from the fifth grade. Coincidentally, this class was taught by my mom. She has been involved in teaching sex education from the time I have been in school. I was lucky to have a mom with such extensive knowledge of the subject. In the eighth grade I joined a group called Teen Voices which focused on peer education. From the moment I joined this group I became interested in youth activism and wanted to pursue it more.
In my ninth grade year I started to attend a large public school. I quickly realized that everyone had not been given the same sex education, knowledge, or tools as I had to make good decisions about sexual health and health in general. This combined with the daily rumors floating around and the increasing number of pregnant teens in my school further inspired me to do what I do with Advocates for Youth.
I believe that one of the best ways to ensure the well-being of the younger generation is to educate them in ways to keep themselves healthy and make good decisions.