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A legacy and a new beginning

A legacy and a new beginning

A message from Michelle Fuller, CYM Board Chair:

August 15th, 2016

Since Lisa joined CYM in August 2009, she has shared a strong passion for youth sexual health and a commitment to community partnerships with the staff and board that has only strengthened the organization. Which is why it is with sincere gratitude, sadness and hope that I announce that Lisa will be moving on to pursue her other passions as of August 31st, 2016.

Empowering Refugee Students: Inclusivity in the Sex Ed Classroom

Empowering Refugee Students: Inclusivity in the Sex Ed Classroom

By Jessica Higgins, Communications Coordinator
August, 4 2016

Colorado Youth Matter’s Raising the Bar conference is coming up! We couldn’t be more excited, and we hope you’ll be joining us to celebrate recent advancements in youth sexual health – like the fact that more schools than ever are teaching comprehensive sex ed, and that unintended teen birth rates and abortions are dropping.

But despite these reasons to celebrate the advancement of youth sexual health in our state, there are still many challenges ahead. So in the spirit of Raising the Bar for youth sexual health and education, let’s talk about one big way we can better serve our youth in their sexual health education: inclusivity of refugees, immigrants, and different cultures in our classrooms.

2016 SASH Report: What Can You Do to Promote Youth Sexual Health?

2016 SASH Report: What Can You Do to Promote Youth Sexual Health?

By Becca Bolden, Research and Evaluation Manager
July 21st, 2016

You can purchase a SASH report here.

We are pleased to announce the release of Colorado Youth Matter’s 2016 State of Adolescent Sexual Health Report this month. The SASH Report has been, and continues to be, a cornerstone of our work and the work of our partners; highlighting our state’s progress against national trends while also clearly illuminating where there is more work to be done in the fight against disparities. We frame the data in the context of recommendations as a call to action to improve the health for Colorado’s young people.

Spotlight On: Amy Adele Hasinoff

Spotlight On: Amy Adele Hasinoff

July 14th, 2016

Amy Adele Hasinoff is an Assistant Professor in the Communication department at the University of Colorado Denver. Her book, Sexting Panic (2015), is about the well-intentioned but problematic responses to sexting in mass media, law, and education. Her research also appears in journals such as New Media & Society, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and Feminist Media Studies. Colorado Youth Matter is thrilled for Amy to be presenting at our Raising the Bar Conference this October!

Spotlight On: Andrea Gerber and Kari Kesler, FLASH Authors

Spotlight On: Andrea Gerber and Kari Kesler, FLASH Authors

July 7th, 2016

Andrea Gerber, MSEd, and Kari Kesler, MA, are the lead authors of the FLASH curriculum, a widely used sexual health education curriculum. Ms. Gerber has extensive knowledge of curriculum development, project management, and pregnancy and STD prevention. She has overseen material development projects and has led countless teacher trainings on sexual health education. Ms. Kesler has been a Family Planning Health Educator with Public Health–Seattle & King County for over 10 years. She has also worked as a sexual violence prevention educator and as a college instructor. She has designed and led projects designed to lower teen pregnancy, STD and HIV rates in various communities.

After this year’s FLASH training, we had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Gerber and Ms. Kesler about their own experiences with sex education, their inspiration and theory behind FLASH, and why this curricula is so unique.

Reflections

Reflections

By Executive Director Lisa Olcese
June 30, 2016

In light of recent events, I feel it necessary to offer a blog that is more reflective in nature and hopefully will spark some conversation and thought. On June 12th, 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 injured when fired upon by a lone gunman at a nightclub in Orlando targeting the LGBTQ community. On June 23rd SCOTUS declared a tie on President Obama’s DACA and DAPA executive orders, not only sending thousands of immigrant families into an unknown flurry of vulnerability and confusion, but challenging the President's authority to execute executive orders. On June 24th, President Obama declared Stonewall Inn as a National Monument, the first national monument dedicated to the struggle for LGBT rights. On June 27th, the US Supreme Court struck down an extremely harmful law in Texas that aimed to restrict and ultimately close all abortion care clinics in Texas that would have caused women to travel hundreds of miles to receive this service.

PleasurABLE

PleasurABLE

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
June 23, 2016

Students with disabilities are people.

While this is theoretically stating the obvious, often educators and caregivers shy away from acknowledging the sexuality of people with disabilities. This omission undermines the foundational tenant of their personhood. To educate the full health of people with disabilities, we must include and acknowledge them in our sexuality education.

Summer Luvin' Part 2: What About Health Services?

Summer Luvin' Part 2: What About Health Services?

By Stefanie Winfield, Senior Capacity Building Manager
June 16th, 2016

So your kids are done with school, and are fully embracing summer life - spending time with friends or love interests, staying up a little later and sleeping in a little more. You’ve already addressed sex ed outside of the classroom, and provided your kids with valuable resources for where to go for medically accurate answers to their sensitive questions. They are informed and prepared to make healthy decisions about their bodies.

While education is a big part of sexual health, it is not the whole picture - what about accessing health services?

Remarkably Normal

Remarkably Normal

By Lisa Olcese and Holly Ponton
June 8, 2016

On June 2, Holly Ponton, Capacity Building Manager, and Lisa Olcese, Executive Director, went to a performance of Remarkably Normal, a powerful documentary play about real people and abortion. “Soulful, funny and at times challenging,” the play featured interviews and stories submitted to the 1 in 3 Campaign, and put the human experience back into abortion – which is the first thing that gets – and stays – lost in the political clamor. Here’s their discussion about the experience.

Summer Luvin'

Summer Luvin'

By Stefanie Winfield, Senior Capacity Building Manager
June 2, 2016

The Summer. For students, this is the time when books get tossed in the closet or the dumpster, notebooks get recycled, backpacks get shoved under the bed and hands recover from typing and writing so much. For teachers and parents however, this is when we cross our fingers that at least some of the information that young people learned in civics class, language arts, biology and math are retained. For Colorado Youth Matter and our sexual health education partners, this is when we hope that, for their health and well-being, what students learned in sex ed sticks. Perhaps they are sharing the information they learned about how to avoid contracting an STI, or what affirmative consent is to their friends - our greatest hope is that they’re talking about their health, with peers and trusted adults, with accuracy and confidence.

Pride Talk!

Pride Talk!

By Executive Director Lisa Olcese
May 26th, 2016

June is just around the corner, which means National Pride Month is almost here too. As this important education and advocacy campaign picks up, there will be Pride parades, fundraising opportunities, and many ways to show your support for the LGBTQ (that’s “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning”) community. If you’re a parent and/or an all-around trusted adult, this and any “awareness month” can also serve as a great reminder to learn something new about the issue, make commitments to act, and have a more direct impact on promoting respect, curiosity and inclusivity among the loved ones in your life.

Yes, I’m saying it’s a great time to talk to your kids or the kids you care about.

Spotlight On: Lindsey Doe

Spotlight On: Lindsey Doe

May 11, 2016

Lindsey Doe, DHS, is a clinical sexologist, doctor of human sexuality, and online sex educator for a community of over 200,000 subscribers. You may have heard of her YouTube channel Sexplanations, designed to sex edutain the universe. Lindsey will be joining Colorado Youth Matter as a special guest speaker this October for our Raising the Bar conference.

"The List" and Its Impact

By Andie Lyons, Community Programs Director and Maximizing Success Project Director
May 4, 2016

Last week, Mathematica Policy Research, in collaboration with the Office of Adolescent Health, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and the Family and Youth Services Bureau, released the most recent findings on effectiveness of Teen Pregnancy Prevention programs. In other words – “The List” has officially been updated!

Prevention: A Limited Approach to Sex Ed

Prevention: A Limited Approach to Sex Ed

By Executive Director Lisa Olcese
April 28, 2016

Every May for the last 15 years, communities from across the country have come together in renewing our commitment to unintended teen pregnancy prevention, while also recognizing the progress we’ve made. And there is certainly progress to celebrate! With the national teen birth rate down by more than half since the early ‘90’s, and Colorado’s teen birth rate down by 48% in the past five years alone, it is clear that our efforts are working. Still, disparities persist among young people, and we must continue to work with and talk and listen to youth, so that we can change the conversation around sex ed to one of promoting overall youth sexual health - as opposed to simply preventing negative outcomes.

Spotlight On: Al Vernacchio

Spotlight On: Al Vernacchio

April 21, 2016

Al Vernacchio is a nationally recognized sexuality educator, author, and speaker. Al will be a special guest speaker at Colorado Youth Matter's Raising the Bar Conference, October 14-15th, 2016.


1) As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?


I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in first grade. I was fascinated with Sr. Edward Kathleen’s black roll book. Each morning she would open the book and to my amazement all our names were in it! She would call the roll and go down the list marking each student present or absent. Each morning when she called my name and put her mark in the book I felt like my existence has been noticed and validated. There was only a brief period of time when I didn’t want to be a teacher; that was in fourth grade when I wanted to be the Pope, but by fifth grade I was back to wanting to be a teacher.

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