4Me Teen Health Project
The 4Me Teen Health Project is a community-level comprehensive sex education and prevention program developed for teens living in low-income, urban housing complexes. The evidence-based program focuses on preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy.
It is an implementation strategy of the NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force after it was identified as a best practice in both providing education and youth development opportunities to teens and engaging parents. The Coalition is not currently offering classes.
Comprehensive Sex Education
Adolescents ages 12-18 years old attend 8 hours of education that focus on HIV/STI education, pregnancy prevention and skills training on avoiding unwanted sex, sexual negotiation and condom use, with themes of personal pride and self-respect.
Parents of adolescent enrollees are offered a workshop that focuses on HIV/AIDS and pregnancy prevention information and approaches to discussing issues related to abstinence and safe sex/condom use with their children.
Teen Leadership Council
The Leadership Council is comprised of teens who completed the education sessions and showed potential as community leaders and peer educators. Each site has a council that meets every other week and completes health and service-related activities, develops a community project and hears from experts on topics like financial literacy (provided by Eva Baker of Teens Got Cents); education and career goals (provided by Travis Pinckney, College R-E-D); and healthy relationships (provided by Dustin Arceneaux, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida).
The Coalition was funded to expand the 4Me Teen Health Project in Northeast Florida from 2012-2015. The three-year funding was through the teen pregnancy prevention-focused Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families.
The Coalition and its community partners implemented the Teen Health Project for teenagers ages 12-18 in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties to reduce the rates of teen births and sexually transmitted infections.
The Coalition partnered with APEL Health Services, the Jacksonville Housing Authority, the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN), the Bridge of Northeast Florida, Florida Department of Health — Nassau County, Florida Department of Health — Clay County, Sanctuary on 8th Street and the Magnolia Project to reach a variety of urban, suburban and rural youth with important teen pregnancy and STI prevention information. The Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives at the University of North Florida is served as local project evaluator. Click here for our Year 2 evaluation report.
Staff training was provided through the Jacksonville Children’s Commission and JASMYN. Program staff and partners were trained and implement new strategies in their practice to address positive youth development; Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE); lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) sensitivity; and anti-bullying.
The Coalition partnered with the Jacksonville Housing Authority to implement 4Me in two JHA-owned complexes, Victory Pointe and Brentwood Lakes. The Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida also served as a key partner. The pilot program was funded by the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida from November 2011-June 2012.
JHA 4Me Teen Leadership Council Events, June 2012
We asked teens in the pilot project that completed the program to complete the following sentence:
What I like most about 4Me Teen Health Project is…
- “[Them] helping me with my lifestyle such as telling me about sex and more.”
- “That Parents aren’t there and we get to talk freely about things to do. Also, that teens get together.”
- “It teaches me how to live life and how to protect yourself when you are having sex.”
- “That they are preparing us for the future.”
- “I learned about all different parts of the female body and the male body and hormones.”
- “The fact you can be real when you are talking and the staff is not all up tight.”