Macon Telegraph (05.01.12) - Thursday, May 03, 2012
Roughly 2,000 students from public and private schools in
Houston County attended Tuesday's teen forum on making healthy
choices. The event at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and
Agricenter was sponsored by Houston Healthcare and supported
by the county school system and a dozen partner organizations.
"Kids get hundreds of thousands of messages every day about
what choices they should make, and too many of them are bad
messages," said Atlanta-based motivational speaker and
abstinence educator Jackie Brewton.
When it comes to sex, making the "right decisions can build
your destiny and the life of your dreams," Brewton said. "One
bad decision could cost you everything."
To girls feeling pressured to have sex, Brewton said, "You may
lose a boyfriend you really like, but you'll never lose a
boyfriend who really likes you." She urged boys facing similar
pressures from a girl to be honest and say, "Baby, I'm going
to do what's best for you even if you won't do what's best for
"We're not here to scare you," Dr. Harold Katner of the Mercer
University School of Medicine said as he displayed photos of
STD-infected patients. "But we do want to educate you and give
you the truth."
Beth Jones, Houston Healthcare's director of community
education and services, said Mercer University does an annual
survey to help identify the issues students are struggling
with. "We try to address those issues, but the theme always
comes back to choices," she said. "It's important that these
kids see the effects their choices can have."