Delta Futures / Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Delta Futures Teen Pregnancy Prevention is DHA’s project that is helping reduce teen pregnancy in the Mississippi Delta through the comprehensive, three year program. Currently, Delta Futures is working with nine public school districts, five private school districts, five local Rural Health Clinics, and over 30 community and faith organizations to prevent teen pregnancy and lower sexually transmitted diseases. Since its inception in 2016, Delta Futures has served 9,165 youth and young adults.
All of the curricula are evidence-based and developed to increase acceptance among the students. The courses utilized in schools have been approved for use by the Mississippi Department of Education and are coordinated with other risk-avoidance efforts that may already be underway in those settings. All program materials are medically accurate, age appropriate, culturally and linguistically relevant, and inclusive of all youth in each community.
Moreover, this DHA program is unique in that the lessons and materials are taught by community health liaisons, professional staff trained just for this project. Early assessments show that after participating in the program, students report higher intent to use birth control, higher motivation to use birth control, and higher perceptions of risk from sexual activity. Through Delta Futures, teens learn essential information about HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; ways to handle social and sexual pressures; ways to communicate assertively with friends and potential sexual partners; refusal skills, negotiation skills and problem-solving skills; and the proper use of condoms.
To extend Delta Futures resources and education to more young adults, Delta Health Alliance added another tier to the program. In 2018 through a two-year funding grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Delta Futures is now training young adults living in the area to serve as peer teachers helping other young adults become aware of strategies for planning their future relating to pregnancy and families. To complete this work, DHA is partnering with Delta colleges and universities (Delta State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Coahoma Community College, and Mississippi Delta Community College) and the Capps Center in Indianola and local non-profit agencies offering GED programs.