Letter from CEO Beth De Santis
It’s been an incredible 15 months at Fact Forward. I have been able to connect with the great professionals, community leaders and other stakeholders involved with our organization. I am so grateful for everyone’s dedication, interest, and support. I also continue to be amazed by the ongoing commitment of our board, staff, and supporters.
As always, the annual report provides an opportunity to reflect and consider the journey ahead. Looking back on the accomplishments of our partners and staff over the past year makes me confident in the future of teen pregnancy prevention work. The relationships our partners have created with the youth in their communities is one of the most important aspects of creating change in the teen birth rate, and we will continue to support and uplift their efforts.
As you read this report, I encourage you to view this as more than a recap of 2017’s progress. I hope it serves as a reminder of the fact that we have more work ahead. We have great confidence in the future and a true belief in our strong partners across South Carolina. We continue to look ahead to address challenges along the way.
With funding cuts around the state and at the national level, it’s more important than ever to leverage strategic partnerships and outreach efforts. We must continue our work to reach vulnerable youth and provide evidence-based resources to communities and organizations across the state.
With 3,696 births to South Carolina teens in 2016 and increasing STI and HIV rates, we must find solutions to reach youth where they need it most. In the coming year, we will continue to focus our work on: parent-child communication, the best of comprehensive health education, the healthcare community and normalizing conversations about love, sex, and relationships. It has been and always will be a collective effort that prevents teen pregnancy. We cannot impact this issue or relevant systems without effective collaboration.
The time is now, more than ever, for us to stand strong for the efforts to prevent teen pregnancy. Thank you for sharing your resources with us. We and the teens appreciate your support.