Welcome to Your Impact: Donors Making a Difference, our newsletter to illustrate how our donors are making North Carolina a better place for young people. If you would like to support our work, make a donation today.
In this Issue
This is an exceptional time for SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens), formerly the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina. We are the only statewide nonprofit with over 30 years of history focusing on adolescent sexual health. Through our efforts and partnerships, North Carolina now has the lowest teen pregnancy rate in history. In 2015, we expanded our mission to have a more comprehensive impact on young people’s health. Our mission is leading North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health. Our work is accomplished by:
- Helping schools and communities implement effective sexuality education
- Making health care more teen-friendly
- Strengthening parent-child relationships
- Using technology to help teens connect with information and support
- Encouraging evidence-based approaches
- Getting policymakers the latest adolescent health information
- Leveraging resources for local communities
- Increasing public understanding of adolescent sexual health
Thank you, thank you, thank you – 2015 was a year of gratitude for all of us at SHIFT NC. Our gratitude begins with you for the financial investment you made to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health in North Carolina. In 2015, SHIFT NC celebrated 30 years of hard work – work founded on principles of providing marginalized youth with a voice through education, advocacy and access to reproductive and sexual healthcare. In honor of our 30 years you helped us to raise close to $55,000 and because of your support SHIFT NC continues to uphold our founding principles.
SHIFT NC experienced extraordinary growth and positive changes in 2015 after shifting our vision to make a more comprehensive impact on young people’s health. Our new name reflects what we’ve always done: shift policies, practices and communities so that teens and young adults can grow up healthy. We also started four new initiatives in communities across the state. These four initiatives, through evidenced-based strategies in capacity building, advocacy, education and access to teen friendly reproductive and sexual healthcare, create environments so young people have the opportunity to grow up healthy. With your financial investment, SHIFT NC is ensuring North Carolina young people and families have a powerful voice in advocating for access to quality, comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive healthcare.
All the Best,
Kay Phillips. CEO
In 2010, SHIFT NC—then the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina—kicked off the beginning of an extraordinary success story. We launched a novel demonstration initiative to address teen pregnancy in one community – Gaston County, North Carolina. The Gaston Youth Connected initiative took a multi-pronged approach to help the community address longstanding problematic teen pregnancy and teen birth rates by using an array of evidence-based approaches. Our goal was to decrease the teen birth rate by 10% in 5 years. The impact? A 39% decline! Gaston Youth Connected not only achieved significant health gains for Gaston County, it provided major lessons for how North Carolina can approach teen pregnancy prevention.
Read our newly released report How Gaston Youth Connected Changed a Community - and New Lessons for North Carolina
Healthy Youth of Onslow & NC Youth Connected
SHIFT NC launched Healthy Youth of Onslow in 2014 to rally community leaders to raise awareness of local teen pregnancy needs. This work paved the way for NC Youth Connected, a 5-year initiative in both Onslow and Cumberland Counties that incorporates evidence-based strategies in program implementation, clinic improvement, and linking youth to healthcare. Between 2015 and 2020, SHIFT NC anticipates a 50% reduction in teen pregnancies across these two counties. Read more about NC Youth Connected...
Every Teen Counts
Every Teen Counts is a new initiative to boost the capacity of North Carolina’s foster care and juvenile justice systems to provide trauma-informed pregnancy prevention services. Foster care agencies and juvenile detention centers serving nine counties will receive capacity building services to strengthen how they help some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable young people. Read more about Every Teen Counts...
All Together Now & Greensboro Health Access Initiative (name TBD)
SHIFT NC is embarking on two major clinic improvement and linking initiatives in Greensboro, in partnership with Cone Health Foundation, and Durham County. Both initiatives will improve the teen-friendliness of partner health providers, while creating strong community networks to help link young people to the care they need. Read more about All Together Now...
“First Period” Social Fundraising Campaign, May 1-May 31, 2016
Help make school a less awkward place to start your period! Stay tuned for our First Period Campaign—a truly unique opportunity for you to support young women and help us normalize adolescent sexual health as part of overall health and development.
2016 SHIFT NC Annual Conference, “Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Propelling Adolescent Sexual Health Forward”, Wednesday, May 11 –Friday, May 13, 2016
Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, RTP Go to registration information...
Take Flight with SHIFT NC, Saturday, September 17, 2016, 6:00 pm
Annual benefit, fundraiser, auction at the Millennium Hotel Durham
Contact Jean Workman at email@example.com for more information on these and other opportunities.
The BrdsNBz North Carolina Text Line provides confidential, factually accurate answers to sexual health questions via text message. A NC young person ages 13-19 simply texts a question, and a trained health educator responds within 24 hours. In 2015, there were a total number of 755 questions submitted to the NC BrdsNBz Text line. 152 questions were from first-time users of to BrdsNBz North Carolina.
What do teens ask?
“Does he like me?”
“Can you get pregnant & still have a period?”
“What should I do if I want to break up with a boy and he says that we are never breaking up?”
“How soon after sex can I take a pregnancy test?”
Protecting Minor’s Consent for Health Services
In 2015, SHIFT NC led a coalition to protect one of North Carolina’s most meaningful adolescent health laws. North Carolina law protects a minor’s right to consent to certain health services, including to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of: pregnancy, STDs, mental health, or substance abuse. Research shows that laws like this encourage healthy behaviors, stop the spread of infections, reduce teen pregnancy rates, and encourages connections with helpful adults. Furthermore, 83% of North Carolina parents favor the current minor’s consent law.
North Carolina’s minor’s consent law is one of the most powerful tools we have for increasing access to health care. In focus group after focus group, confidentiality fears are named as one of the biggest barriers that prevent young people from accessing needed pregnancy prevention and STI testing and treatment services. Once those youth get in the clinic door, providers are often able to help create connections to parents or guardians. In addition, the law is a lifeline for youth who may be experiencing abuse, incest, neglect, or human trafficking.
In 2015, the North Carolina General Assembly debated a bill that would have eliminated a minor’s ability to consent for health services and required notarized parental consent for the health services covered by the current law—a bar higher than nearly any other health services. We are proud to have led the effort to protect young people and prevent this dangerous change.
Keeping Health Education Strong and Effective
SHIFT NC has been a leader in helping North Carolina school systems implement the 2009 Healthy Youth Act. The law requires schools to include information on abstinence, medically accurate information on HIV and STDs, FDA-approved contraception, healthy dating relationships, and awareness of and risk reduction for sexual assault and abuse. SHIFT NC has provided schools serving more than 25% of the state’s students with intensive training and coaching to implement the law with high-quality, effective educational strategies.
Lawmakers made two changes to the Healthy Youth Act during the 2015 session. The law was amended to include information on sex trafficking. In addition, lawmakers loosened standards for who can approve teaching materials. SHIFT NC is working closely with schools to help them adapt to these changes while maintaining the focus on quality and accuracy.