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Fewer local teen pregnancies

Amarillo, TX - Hundreds more area students are learning it's "Worth the Wait". Local teen pregnancy rates are decreasing and a local nonprofit program is helping out.

Fewer teens are becoming mothers in Potter County. Currently Potter ranks 51st out of more than 250 counties in Texas, when just a few years ago it was in the 20s. The "Worth the Wait" program is reaching out to high school students for the first time this year.

Former NFL Player for the NY Giants Keith Davis is a speaker with "Worth the Wait". He says, "Maybe they didn't find a dad so they're finding acceptance. But we just let them know that there are some guys who are men of character and commitment... And for the young guys, again, I challenge the students. I had letters from guys saying my dad wasn't there, but I don't want to be like that, I'm going to make a U-turn. One boy he wrote me a letter saying I'm going to respect girls even if they don't have respect for themselves."

The theme for the assemblies this week throughout Amarillo and Spearman schools was 'You could have more, if you don't settle for less'. And it's making a difference in teens' lives like Shannon Thomas' who's 15.

Thomas who's a Freshman at Palo Duro High School says, "I learned that it was like better to wait and like. What they talked about is like I could relate to most of what they were saying. And it made me feel good about it like I'm not the only one."

This year the program is trying to reach out to the group with the highest teen pregnancy rate which is from ages 15 to 19. Executive Director of "Worth the Wait" Amy Christie says, "It's very important because of the rates. We are slowly decreasing in teen pregnancy rates here in Amarillo. But we still have an extremely high STD rate here."

Christie says they keep in touch with area students via Facebook to guide them, and participation has increased over the years. She says, "We also give them information or daily quotes just to remind them to make good choices, and that the community cares about them. And they're our future leaders."

Next year they're planning to include more high schools like Amarillo High and Tascosa.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

 

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