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Family Planning Education: Essential for TN Teen Success in Life

October 18, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Teenage mothers are likely to drop out of school and live in poverty, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. In Nashville, the Oasis Center works to counter that trend, helping young people make good decisions to aid in their transition into healthy adulthood.

Oasis Youth Engagement Coordinator Jenn Garcia has been recognized by Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee as Family Life Educator of the Year. Garcia says her group of peer counselors works to dispel many of the myths surrounding sex.

"I run prevention groups and our youth engagement team. We're meeting with students and talking about healthy choices, health decision-making."

The Oasis Center education outreach offers guidance to more than 12,000 people every year. According to Garcia, they work with young people from 60 different schools who speak at least 26 different languages.

Many of these teens are from immigrant families, she says, and some have grown up hearing folk tales about sex that have to be countered with real-world advice.

"That is why we want to go ahead and give you guys the facts, the information. That way, you can pass this information on to someone else, you can pass on to them the truth."

More information is available at

Randy O'Brien, Public News Service - TN