Healthy Teen Network is celebrating 40 years of promoting better outcomes for adolescents and young adults.
Will you join us in continuing to support and empower all young people to thrive? Please consider making a donation in celebration of our first 40 years and to support our new ventures.
40 Years of #StandingStrong
There is indeed a great deal to celebrate from our first four decades!
Reflecting Back on our First 40 Years
We strengthen professionals.
As a membership organization, we understand the importance of being both responsive to the needs of youth-supporting professionals, as well as serving as a visionary that leads our members to the next advancement. We are the go-to trainer and resource hub because our members know we work collaboratively to meet their needs and build their skills. This is so important because we know when professionals are better prepared, we see increased positive outcomes for young people. Capacity building has always been the heart of our mission, and we will continue ensuring our members have the skills and information they need to provide quality sexual health education and services.
We stand with all young people.
We have been the voice for inclusion because all young people, including those who may be pregnant or parenting, have a right to respect. From day one, when we were founded in 1979 as the National Organization for Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting (NOAPP), we have not only affirmed but often been the lone voice standing with young families. And we’ve continued to push the field, moving beyond prevention, to understand sexual and reproductive health is a social justice issue with public health impacts. Over the decades, we’ve built on our legacy of standing with all young people, such as youth in foster care or LGBTQ+ youth, and moved beyond prevention in support of health promotion. And we will continue #StandingStrong because all young people have a right to a healthy future.
We lead in evidence and innovation.
We have led the field in using evidence and innovation to support and empower young people. Over the past 40 years, we have honed our approach, using lessons learned and evaluation results, to continuously improve and deliver the most effective training and resources to support high quality, evidence-based and innovative programs and services for youth. No matter the political climate, we champion evidence over ideology because young people have a right to quality sexual health education and services. Today, we have a wealth of research to inform how we can best achieve our goals, and we’re continuing to build on the evidence with new innovations, grounded in research, to meet the dynamic needs of young people and improve outcomes.
Our Next 40 Years
Looking Forward to Our Next 40 Years
We must be holistic in our approach, addressing social determinants of health.
We call this holistic approach Youth 360°, and while it may not be a new concept, it continues to gain traction in our field. Since 2013, we have been leading the field integrate a Youth 360° approach to address health disparities and achieve equity. This will not change, but we need more of it. Our members need us to continue helping them make these systemic changes in their organizations and communities, to establish new and diverse partnerships, and to leverage each other’s resources to better meet the many different needs of all young people.
We must leverage technology and innovation to improve access.
Technology opens doors and has the potential to expand access exponentially. Some people call this “mHealth,” which may include apps to access reliable information, online games that serve as sex ed programs, telephone services to provide consultations from healthcare providers, or prescriptions by mail. We already have many initiatives leveraging technology to improve access, such as Crush (Crush.HealthyTeenNetwork.org), the first and only smartphone-based digital tool proven effective at increasing young women’s sense of control to make decisions regarding their sexual behavior. Or Volt20 (Volt20.com), our interactive website walks youth through 20 questions so they can make a plan for a healthy future. And we’re helping our members to do all of this, as well, through capacity-building events, such as the Design Challenge at our conference. We are working to continue this important work, using human-centered design thinking and rapid prototyping to develop creative solutions that can be implemented today to ensure every young person has improved access to quality sexual health education and services.
We must support and empower all young people to thrive.
Our legacy, since our foundation, is #StandingStrong with all young people. Our nation’s young people face more and more adversity in today’s increasingly hostile political climate. The rights of LGBTQ+ youth are under attack. Young people who may be undocumented face uncertainty every day. Youth involved in systems of care, such as foster care or juvenile justice systems, face challenges in accessing reliable and consistent health care and sexual health education. We will continue our efforts to ensure all young people are included, and not stigmatized, in all our efforts.
For more information on our work, check out our annual report.
Can we count on you to join us in building a world where all young people may thrive? Please donate to stand strong with us.
Other Ways to Support Healthy Teen Network
- Join our Board of Directors to support long-term organizational strategic planning and fund development efforts. Contact Shanise Taylor for more information.
- Consider volunteering or offering pro bono or in-kind support, based on your individual expertise and resources. Contact Shanise Taylor for more information.
- Through AmazonSmile, designate Healthy Teen Network as your organization of choice, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Healthy Teen Network.