Teen Pregnancy in Pueblo County

2 Jul

I was reminded how serious this issue is in Pueblo County when a young girl was telling me that she had helped administer a class teaching teens how to be teen mothers.  All of that just really made me think that there is problem- shouldn’t this young girl be helping teach something like chemistry, biology, music, art, gardening, anything OTHER than how to be a teen mom?

Today in the paper, The Pueblo Chieftain reported that the Pueblo City-County Health Department used a $50,000 grant to have a health care consulting firm tell them that the reason for Pueblo’s amazingly high teen pregnancy rate is:

1. A lack of adequate sex education

2. A high use of alcohol and drugs

3. Boredom

Now,  they could have not paid me a dime to tel them about the latter two – I have grown up in Pueblo County and know the lack of infrastructure and support for our youth.  When they try to put a 29-year-old entrepreneur out of business, they are probably not going out of their way to make sure the next generation has a support system to help them grow into leaders.  This is first a SOCIAL problem and secondly a  COMMUNITY problem, and we should all hold ourselves accountable.

The first reason for a high teen pregnancy rate has some valid points, however,  shouldn’t parents be helping with some of this education?  Why is the STATE taking charge of this?  Shouldn’t our parents and communities be doing something?  Yeah, I know it is complex.   I think what is lacking is the concept of SUCCESS, of HOPE, of WORK, of DOING anything.  When you grow up without access to tools and resources to make you want to grow – emotionally, physically, spiritually – then, you don’t grow, you stagnate.  And you try to escape from reality.  Hence, boredom and the use of drugs and alcohol and having sex at a young age without understanding the potential consequences of those actions.

I pray for this community – when the teen pregnancy rates of Colorado and the rest of the nation are decreasing and Pueblo County’s are increasing – we have to take a hard look at what is going on here.  And maybe instead of reaching out to a consulting firm to explain the obvious, why don’t you use that money within our own community to provide better support systems and outlets for teens to be creative, express themselves, and have some hope for the future?

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2 Responses to “Teen Pregnancy in Pueblo County”

  1. Candice Crain July 4, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    I’m glad you are taking a stand on this Tisha. I now live in Tennessee, but grew up in Pueblo. I do not see this problem in my community here. I was just telling someone yesterday, that where I grew up in my teens, the question was not, “Do you have kids,” it was commonly, “How many kids do you have?” Luckily, I wasn’t a statistic, but the epidemic is palpable. My high school had a daycare. Middle Schoolers were even having babies. I am proud to be from Pueblo, but we as a community do need to show our youth that there is HOPE and they are capable of SUCCESS. They need to see beyond today for themselves. Good luck in your mission Tisha.

    • Tisha T. Casida July 4, 2011 at 3:12 am #

      Thank you for that feedback Candice, I appreciate it. The issue is much bigger, as you know – the beautiful thing is, though, that there are SO MANY SOLUTIONS to this one – right at our fingertips.

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