Log in Subscribe

2nd Annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Recognition Awards


BRADENTON — Last Tuesday, the Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee County, Inc. (HTC)  recognized local individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to reducing teen pregnancy rates and to increasing the health and welfare of youth in the county during its Second Annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Recognition Awards.

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, and as part of on-going efforts and activities throughout the month, the HTC presented the following awards at the event:

  • https://www.thebradentontimes.com/clientuploads/NewsMisc14/DrSteele.jpg
    Dr. Marilyn Steele (R) receives the Adult of the Year Award
    Ella Biggins (L) receives the Youth of the Year Award
    Dr. Marilyn Steele: Adult of the Year – Dr. Steele is a pioneer in the field of teen pregnancy prevention. She taught in an inner-city high school for 16 years followed by 20 years as a program officer for the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the organization which pioneered- with the Ford Foundation- research on all the issues associated with teen childbearing. Dr. Steele wrote the very first journaled article on the public costs of teen pregnancy. She also conducted the lead research for the Title IX legislation on Vocational Education where teen pregnancy was the primary reason for young women to drop out of high school. Dr. Steele has been a resident of Manatee County since 1990 and an active volunteer leader in many local educational and cultural organizations. The Steele Family Endowment Fund provided the seed grant for the HTC’s new Teen Health Educator program.
  • Ella Biggins: Youth of the Year – As chair of the teen pregnancy prevention committee of the Manatee County Youth Commission (MCYC), Ella has served as an incredible youth advocate in our community for the issue of teen pregnancy prevention.  Working as close partners with HTC, Ella has presented proclamations recognizing Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month to our local governments over the last two years and, working with her peers, has led the development of a PSA to further raise awareness about this issue in Manatee County.
  • Service Club of Manatee: Nonprofit of the Year – For the past several years, the Service Club has given invaluable grant funding to Manatee County nonprofits that provide teen pregnancy prevention programs as well as agencies that support teen parents, including Just for Girls, PACE Center for Girls, SOLVE Maternity Homes and the Healthy Teens Coalition.  Because of Service Club’s generosity, the HTC was able to launch the Go Grrrls therapeutic mentoring program and provide in-school programs on self-esteem, impacting over a 1,000 girls in the past few years.
  • Manatee County Board of Commissioners: Elected Officials of the Year - In past years, Manatee County has ranked in the top 10 counties in the state in births to teen mothers. In 2010, however, the Manatee County Government and Board of County Commissioners made the landmark decision to take a strong and courageous leadership role on this issue when the Children’s Services Advisory Board and the Board of County Commissioners decided to make teen pregnancy prevention a major funding priority for the county’s grant funding and encouraged community nonprofits to partner together to work on this issue. Since that time, Manatee County rates of teen pregnancy have shown a dramatic improvement.  When comparing the number of births to teens from before this strong community focus began until now, teen births in Manatee County have dropped by over 38%. Births to younger teen mothers, ages 14 and under, have dropped by 74%. From 2012 to 2013, the number of teen births dropped by 23.8 % alone.

The Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee is dedicated to promoting healthy, responsible behaviors in Manatee County youth through partnerships with the community.  The HTC engages young people, parents, community leaders, and policy-makers and aims to ensure that Manatee youth have access to the tools, education, and information that will equip them to make healthy, informed decisions, leading to a positive future.


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.