Sex education program to help teens

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kimaka Bowens, a resident of Pearl River County, is spear heading a new STD Prevention Program called Becoming a Responsible Teen.
Bowens said she was a teen mom, and hopes this program will be an asset to Pearl River County.
“I just want to do whatever I can to make my community better,” said Bowens.
In 2011, Mississippi was ranked second out of 51 of the nation’s states and territories in teen birth rates among moms ranging in ages from 15-19, with 1 being the highest rate and 51 being the lowest rate.
The target population for this program is African American teens aged 14-18, said Bowens. The goals of the program are to increase abstinence, provide information to help teens make the right choices and to eliminate or reduce risky behaviors, said Bowens.
There will be eight, 90-120 minute sessions in the program given over a span of eight weeks. The teaching methods will include lectures, group discussions and videos. The classes will take place at a public health clinic that serves low-income families, said Bowens.
Classes will be taught to groups of 5-15 teens, and will provide information on HIV, and related risk behaviors. Teens will also receive information on the importance of abstinence and risk reduction, said Bowens.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Nursing Association, of which Bowens is a member, received funding for this program in May through the Mississippi Health Department, said Bowens. The grant period for the program lasts until October, said Bowens.
On May 28th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. the nursing association will hold a town hall brunch in Gulfport.
“We are going to do more explaining about the program, and what we hope to do with it,” said Bowens.
The program is free to Gulf Coast teens. Anyone interested in receiving more information about the program, or who would like to sign-up may contact Bowens at
The first session of the program will be held in Biloxi on June 10th.

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