Message from Montie

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

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Message from Montie

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

 

 

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Photo courtesy of Ayesha Jaco

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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."

 

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Power 92 radio personality discusses masturbation and Rihanna midday, has radio gone too far?

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Message from Montie

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

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Getty Images photo by Frank Micelotta / February 7, 2009 - Singer Rihanna attends the 2009 Grammy Salute To Industry Icons honoring recording executive Clive Davis at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday in Beverly Hills, California.

Around 4 p.m. today, I was switching between CDs and Power 92 happened to be the last station I was listening to in between. The radio personality was discussing an interview question with pop star Rihanna about who she was "getting it in" with since Chris Brown.

 

Rihanna made a comment about not being interested in love over her career and instead choosing to pleasure herself. Now if that response wasn't wild enough, the Power 92 radio personality asked women to call in to find out if they pleasure themselves too. I just shook my head, changed the station and popped a new CD in. This is why I listen to the radio about 10 percent of the time I'm in a car or walking down the street with my MP3 player. Some of the conversations are ridiculous to me, and I definitely didn't want to hear a bunch of women calling in talking about rabbits and their fingers. When did daytime radio personalities get so risqué?

 

Call me prudish, but I felt like Rihanna could've kept that comment to herself and so could the radio personality. The problem is the media is forever digging for information we really have no business knowing. Whoever Rihanna chooses to date is really between herself and her new "beau" when/if she has one. But I think people automatically assume that everybody you're dating is someone you're banging. Not true.

 

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December 1 is World AIDS Day, How does this National STD Awareness Day effect you?

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Message from Montie

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

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Photo by Shamontiel, condom collection from BEHIV

A few days ago, I received a card in the mail from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. I've spoken to several college classes about safe sex and volunteered to help raise money for HIV/AIDS Awareness over the years, on top of writing "Round Trip," so this card caught my attention. On the front of the card, there's a red ribbon on the front of one of the buildings in the Chicago skyline. Underneath the skyline, it says "Imagine..." and "...our world without AIDS" is printed in the inside flap. Powerful card. And with your help on World AIDS Day and every other day of the year, we can all help fight this disease. 

 

World AIDS Day is around the corner on December 1, and worldwide there will be different locations honoring this important day. The CNA building in the loop honors this day with a red ribbon and the words "Fight AIDS" that is easily viewable from Lake Shore Drive. So what does this have to do with you?

 

On Friday, October 30, President Barack Obama signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS CARE Act and stated, "there are still 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and more than 56,000 new infections that occur every single year." While you may not be one of the 56,000 that currently have HIV/AIDS, fatal STDs such as this one can hit you or anyone around you at any point and time. This is why safe sex is so important in your sexual relationships.

 

And no safe sex is 100 percent. Even in a committed relationship, married people are also a growing number to find out that they have HIV/AIDS from a cheating partner. Even the Obamas got tested for HIV/AIDS to prove that it's okay to do so.

 

If you're interested in being tested and you live in the Chicago area, here are some commonly asked questions and answers about HIV/AIDS testing.

 

If I use condoms and birth control pills, why do I need to be tested?

Birth control pills do not prevent STDs. You must use a combination of both female or male condoms with birth control patches or pills if you want to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STDs at the same time. However, none of these contraceptives are 100 percent. There's also an issue with using the wrong type of condoms or putting condoms on incorrectly. Click here for condom wear tips.

 

I don't have health insurance, so how much do I have to pay for HIV/AIDS testing?

There are countless locations in the Illinois area that have free HIV/AIDS testing, including BEHIV. GetTestedChicago.com has a listing of free or low-cost HIV/AIDS testing areas in Chicago. Some HIV/AIDS testing centers will have a waiting period of 10 to 15 days while others, like BEHIV, will give you results within 10 to 15 minutes.

 

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