Over 20 community leaders attended the Crossroads; A New Direction for Our Youth private breakfast and reception at the Washington Times on Wednesday, November 7. The program, sponsored by Urban Life Training & Reality Assessment Teen Choice, addressed the issue of helping youth choose the path to success by raising youth leaders to develop good character and to model and teach about the benefits of sexual abstinence in preparation for marriage and successful family formation.
Co-founder Richard Urban explained that if he were in high school today, he would very likely be making wrong choices and getting sexually involved. He asked the audience if they were in high school today, would they be making right choices?
Mr. Urban challenged those present to consider two paths. One path will cause heartbreak, sexually transmitted disease and about a 50 50 chance of being caught up in baby mama and baby daddy drama. The other path will leave their lives unencumbered with heartache, disease, and baby mama and baby daddy drama. Even more importantly, it will help their children to prosper. Mr. Urban explained that if teenagers don’t graduate from high school and have a baby before marrying, there’s a 79% chance their child will live in poverty. This compares to only an 8 % chance of their children living in poverty for those who finished high school, had a child after marrying, and did not marry as a teenager. The District of Columbia Public Schools emphasize STD testing for 9th grader students, but parents are not notified of the results, and abstinence is not emphasized.
PowerPoint slides created by Urban Life Training alumnus and Penn State Harrisburg Junior Tierra Glymph were shared. Tierra explains how we need to support and empower young people to make right choices and not just push safe sex.
Eastern Senior High School Urban Life Training Alumnus Sharnetta Tyler shared” This program really allowed me to grow in = [character] so by the time I got to college I was ok to say no, that’s not me. … So I remember being that confident when I was your age saying this is going to be life for me, so transitioning over into college Like I held on to that same virtue. Like there was never something [else]that caught my attention, nothing else said well maybe I want to be a mom before I’m a wife, nothing, that was the same goal I have now; I am still holding on to that.”
Urban Life Training STAR Guide Alumnus and Howard University graduate Erica Smith shared: “Being abstinent has helped me stay focused on my goals, kept me safe from sexually transmitted diseases, prevented unwanted pregnancy and saved my from the heartache and humiliation that could have come from having sex with men who did not have my best interest in mind…I implore you all to join this mission because truly abstinence is the best choice for those who are not married.”
Breakfast participant and youth worker Ebony Brown shared “I really enjoyed myself at the breakfast this morning. It was truly inspirational and such an eye-opener! Never have I personally thought about teaching teens about abstinence and the benefits of it. Your organization's purpose is awesome!