emP.O.W.E.R.ed SC

We are linking teens with the sexual health services they need.

Empower EdEmP.O.W.E.R.ed SC: Partners Optimizing Wellness and Education through Referrals is a new initiative from Fact Forward that aims to improve reproductive health outcomes for youth of color in Orangeburg and Richland Counties, which have high teen birth and STI rates relative to other areas in South Carolina. We will focus on making connections with teens, parents, and the community to ensure this project's success.

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How do we do it?

1. Mobilize the community to influence the development of innovative strategies to increase access and linkages to sexual health services for youth of color, ages 15-21.

  • Community Ambassadors
  • Peer Ambassadors

2. Provide the opportunity to explore and develop innovative interventions within the network.

  • Focus groups
  • Listening sessions
  • Curriculum development
  • Design Challenge

3. Test and refine new and existing interventions, such as:

  • Community Ambassadors
  • Peer Ambassadors
  • Community Health Workers

4. Evaluate the impact this investment has on the community and disseminate effective interventions.

Fast Facts

  • In Richland county, there were 1460 cases of Chlamydia! That’s almost how often a school bell will ring in a year.
  • Orangeburg county ranked #8 out of all 46 counties for Chlamydia infections
  • In Richland County, 212 teens gave birth in 2019.
  • There are 20 million new STD infections each year—almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.
  • In Orangeburg County, 158 teens gave birth in 2019. That’s nearly 1/3rd of the students that attend Edisto High School!