Amplify Youth Health Collective

Youth Leadership Council members from Amplify Youth Health Collective

In a time when Tulsa County’s teen pregnancy rate is leveling off, rather than the decline the area experienced from 2009-2019, organizations like Amplify Youth Health Collective have mobilized local groups to address the issue. Oklahoma currently has the fourth-highest rate of teen births in the U.S.

The organization formerly known as the Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy focuses on equipping its partners by promoting adolescent sexual health through data-driven advocacy, collaboration and education. “We collectively create goals and a shared vision together around what it is that we want to accomplish in this community in the next five years,” Executive Director Heather Duvall says.

Amplify’s team of seven works with partners like Youth Services of Tulsa and Tulsa Health Department, educating more than 30,000 Tulsa Public Schools students since 2013, explains Deputy Director Preston Shatwell. The organization stayed busy through the pandemic, modifying to a virtual curriculum for TPS students in a matter of months.

The Youth Leadership Council is instrumental in Amplify’s advocacy work. Members aged 14-18 from nine Tulsa-area schools have led projects like an educational coloring book released in May 2020. A hard copy is available for purchase, as well as a free digital copy, at amplifytulsa.org. 

Educating students is just one piece of Amplify; the organization also works with youth-serving professionals, community leaders and parents. Program Director Jenny Briggs stressed the importance of parents having honest communication with their children from a young age.

“If you lay that foundation of communication and trust at the youngest ages, then when life gets harder, when situations get harder for kids, they’re going to come to their parents or caregivers and ask those questions — as long they know they’re going to get real answers,” Briggs says. “So the parent piece is critical.”

In May, Amplify promoted three national campaigns: #TalkingIsPower Month, Sex Ed for All Month and National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month to raise awareness about resources available for health education.

The organization has virtual workshops planned for June. Briggs is leading a “Sexual Health Education Essentials” training June 7 for those new to sexual health education or for trusted adults who work with young people. Visit amplify.org for details on trainings and workshops, including pricing and registration information.

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