Message from Montie

« Should your female child be able Chicago businesses celebrate upcoming release of »

Assist Her, Daughters of Donia and Lupe Fiasco Foundation create empowerment conference for teenage girls at Paul Robeson High School

user-pic
Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

 

 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Ayesha_Jaco.JPG

Photo courtesy of Ayesha Jaco

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Samantha Coleman.jpg 

Photo courtesy of Samantha Coleman

 

 

 

 

Chicago's south side Paul Robeson High School has developed quite the reputation lately for being labeled the school with one out of seven girls who are pregnant. But it turns out that the 115 Paul Robeson High School students reported as moms or moms-to-be aren't all moms, some are teenage fathers.

 

"Out of the 800 girls, 10 percent of those girls are in our program," Ms. Phillips, Parent Educator at Paul Robeson High School, said. "Eighty girls and we have about twenty-five guys that are in the program so that would bring our number to 115. That is [also] a combination of students that have given birth to their children already and students that are currently pregnant."

 

But the fact remains that there are still 115 teenage parents at the school and mentoring programs like the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, Daughters of Donia and Assist Her, Inc. have planned an event on Saturday, Dec. 5, to help change those statistics. The After I Met a Boy event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on Sat., Dec. 5, at Paul Robeson High School on 6835 S. Normal Blvd.

 

Mentor group representatives Samantha Coleman, MA, LPC (the Executive Director of Assist Her, Inc.) and Ayesha Jaco (the co-founder of the Lupe Fiasco Foundation and the founder of Daughters of Donia) have created the After I Met a Boy empowerment conference focused on sexual education, prevention and mentoring for the ladies of Paul Robeson High School.

 

"I had heard about the high pregnancy rate at the school and a light bulb went off," said Jaco. "In lieu of the killings that have been going on and stats that came out last year--one in four girls between the ages of 14 and 21 have an STD--I was wondering what I could do to help."

 

A friend referred Jaco to a four-year-old Chicago-based organization, Assist Her, Inc., and after approximately six weeks, the event was finalized.

 

"The focus for the event was not just on young ladies who are pregnant or parenting," said Coleman. "It's for girls in general because we didn't want the young ladies to feel like there's a scarlet A across their chests if they have a child. The event is about prevention."

 

Coleman and Jaco, who were both raised in two-parent households and currently have no children, not only want to prevent future unwanted pregnancies but to also discuss other teenage topics.

 

"It is the belief of Assist Her, particularly with our young ladies, that if you change the dynamic and mentality of your females, you will change the dynamic of what happens with your males," said Coleman. "Young ladies have to have enough wherewithal, enough self-esteem, enough self-respect to not put themselves in certain situations which would lead them on the road towards teenage pregnancy, not to mention STDs or not attaining goals that they set for themselves."

 

And although this event is catering towards 350 ladies, and all the speakers are women, there will be a notable male guest in the crowd.

 

"We have He Say/She Say, which is a panel that talks about dating values and standards," said Jaco, in reference to an idea sparked by True Star magazine. "Since Lupe's Foundation is tied into this, we need a male draw, and so he agreed to do it. Lupe is from Chicago, it's a Chicago and national issue, and he's a positive artist."

 

Assist Her was created in 2006. Daughters of Donia mentoring program started in May 2008, and the Lupe Fiasco Foundation is in the beginning stages and was created in October 2009.

 

And although Lupe's foundation may be new, this Grammy Award winning-artist whose real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco is not new to Ayesha Jaco. He's her brother.

 

"With Lupe being my younger brother, growing up in the same household, our parents taught us to give back to the communities we come from," Jaco said.

 

"We want to reach out to the girls who are pregnant or parenting to let them know that it's not too late to succeed and to look for resilience," Jaco said. "We have a workshop specifically geared to showing them how they can endure with the successful teen mom panel. For the preventative side, we just want to let the young ladies know, who are not moms, what they should be thinking about in regards to goal setting and what choices they should make regarding their sexual health and responsibility."

 

And after meeting a boy, sexual health and responsibility usually come into play. But that's not where the title of the After I Met a Boy conference came from.

 

"With Assist Her, we have a program entitled Books Before Boys," Coleman said. "We utilized the book, 'After I Met a Boy,' as one of the titles. So when we were actually getting together in the infancy of planning this, we called it After I Met a Boy based off [Crystal L. Winston's] book, and [the name is] catchy."

 

This free event includes two meals (breakfast and lunch); a keynote speech; workshop assignments; the Successful Former Teen Moms panel; the He Said, She Said panel; and sexual health and responsibility discussions.

 

Special guests and panelists include rapper Lupe Fiasco; NBC5 Chicago's LeeAnn Trotter; Danielle Cortes Devito who is Mrs. Chicago; the author of "After I Met a Boy" Crystal L. Winston; the founder and Executive Director of Dreams & Beyond Unlimited, Lisa Montgomery; U.S. Cellular Retail Sales Manager Shanel Smith; the co-founder and Executive Director of God's Star of Restoration, Natalie Byrd; author Lissa Woodson also known as Naleighna Kai; TrueStar Radio's Sharmon Jarmen; proprietor of Sensual Steps, Inc., and founder of the P.U.M.P.S. Organization, Nicole Jones; and radio personality Bioncé Foxx.

Recommended

[?]

Recent Posts

Subscribe

2 Comments

Sgt. Tibs said:

user-pic

Great info. Looks like that will be an influential event and glad to see Lupe will be appearing as well. I posted a link to it on Gowhere Hip Hop and it's in our upcoming events page. Thank you!

Message from Montie said:

user-pic

Sgt. Tibs,
Thanks for stopping by. I always check out your page as well and remember seeing you the same day we were both getting ready to interview Trey Songz. I'll let Lupe's sister, Ayesha Jaco, know about the double press. I'm sure she'll be happy about that.

Leave a Comment?

Some HTML is permitted: a, strong, em

What your comment will look like:

said:

what will you say?

Most Active Pages Right Now

ChicagoNow.com on Facebook