BMHA is recruit at least 50 male, female and LGBTQ students to educate with the curriculum called Making Proud Choices! This curriculum provides adolescents with the knowledge, confidence and skills necessary to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and pregnancy by abstaining from sex or using condoms if they choose to have sex. It is based on cognitive-behavioral theories, focus groups and the authors’ extensive experience working with youth. Making Proud Choices! is an adaptation and extension of the original Be Proud! Be Responsible! curriculum that integrates teen pregnancy prevention along with HIV/STI prevention.

Target Population: The target population is at least 50 male and female youth, including LGBTQ youth between the ages of 14-19 that live in Prince George’s county.

BMHA has chosen Making Proud Choices! as the program model to be implemented. This curriculum is designed in as few as eight one-hour modules that are fun and interactive learning experiences to increase participation and help adolescents understand the faulty reasoning and decision-making that puts them at risk for STIs, HIV and unplanned pregnancies. In this way, it is possible to maintain interest and attention that might fade during a lecture or lengthy group discussion. Activities are designed to increase comfort with practicing condom use, address concerns about negative effects of practicing safer sex and build skills in condom use and negotiation, and incorporate social cognitive-behavioral skill-building strategies (i.e., presentation, modeling, and the practice of condom use negotiation skills). Other reasons for selecting this curriculum include:

  • It is evidence-based and provides a safer-sex approach to teen pregnancy and HIV/STD Prevention.
  • This curriculum involves culturally sensitive video clips, games, brainstorming, role-playing, skill-building activities and small group discussions that build group cohesion and enhance learning.
  • Each activity lasts only a brief time and involves adolescents getting out of their seats and interacting with each other. This efficient design helps the facilitator maintain interest and attention that might fade during a lecture or lengthy group discussion.
  • To reduce STD and pregnancy risk related sexual behaviors, adolescents not only need an awareness of personal vulnerability, but also positive attitudes towards condom-use skills and confidence in their ability to use condoms.
  • The goal of Making Proud Choices! is to empower adolescents to change their behavior in ways that will reduce their risk of an unplanned pregnancy or becoming infected with HIV and other STDs. Specifically, this curriculum emphasizes that adolescents can reduce their risk for STDs, HIV and pregnancy by using a condom, if they choose to have sex.

For more information or to have the curriculum facilitated at your site, contact: Lynne Johnson, 410.338.2642 or via e-mail, ljohnson@blackmentalhealth.com

“Full or partial funding for this project was provided by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Personal Responsibility Education Program, through a grant to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Maternal and Child Health Bureau.”