Gaston Youth Connected was one of the nation’s first community-wide initiatives to reduce teen pregnancy. As one of eight demonstration counties from around the country working on this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) project from 2010 to 2015, Gaston Youth Connected provided new lessons on how North Carolina and the nation can address adolescent health.
Making National News
Gaston County gained national recognition for their continued success to support adolescent sexual health and reduce teen pregnancy rates.
- Click here to read NPR's coverage of their work with teens and LARCs.
- Integrated Community Strategies for Linking Youth to Adolescent Reproductive Health Services: A Case Study, March 2017, Journal of Adolescent Health
About Gaston Youth Connected
Through Gaston Youth Connected, we worked with community leaders to boost programs for youth, make clinical services youth-friendly, and help connect youth in program and clinic settings to other services.
- Increasing the number of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs, and the number of people and organizations that can provide them
- Turning an old clinic into a model for age-appropriate, teen friendly medical services
- Building community participation by developing local leadership groups to govern the project
- Launching the Teen Action Council, a committed group of high-schoolers who do positive peer outreach
Gaston Youth Connected achieved its two primary goals:
- To reduce the county’s teen pregnancy rate by at least 10% by 2015; and
- To develop infrastructures that can support evidence-based pregnancy prevention strategies, including program services that are integrated with clinical services.
After just three years of the project, Gaston County's teen pregnancy rate had fallen by more than 40%! In addition, the long-standing disparity between white and African American teen pregnancy rates had closed. Check out each year's progress report to see how we achieved these results:
Have specific questions about this project? Contact Chief Program Officer Sally Swanson.