Character, not condoms

Character, not Condoms E-Newsletter, September 2008


HI PREP Youth sign the ULTRA Teen Choice Pledge.

View ULTRA Teen Choice photos on Flickr

Healthy Intimate Relationship Education Program (HI PREP)
Every Wednesday Through December 10:

Pilgrim Baptist Church: 700 I St.NE 20O02:
From 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

9/27/08 Step up drug and alcohol prevention street festival at Pilgrim Baptist Church; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

10/1/08: (HI PREP)Communicating with Others

10/4/08 ULTRA Teen Choice Training Seminar: Pilgrim Baptist Church (see right)
10/8/08:(HI PREP) Respecting Ourselves and Others

10/15/08:(HI PREP)Planning & Reaching Goals 10/22/08:(HI PREP) Advancing: Work and School

10/29/08:(HI PREP) Taking Care of Our Health .

ULTRA Teen Choice Training Seminar
Saturday, October 4, 2008
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Pilgrim Baptist Church
700 I St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
Training for Middle School, High School, & Adults
Youth: Receive 5 hours of community service credit

Receive qualification for the following:
* STAR Guide Accountability Partner
* ULTRA Teen Choice lecturer (including paid lecturer opportunities)
* Chapter Coordinator
* Certificate of training
*Learn how to set up an Accountability Partner program in your organization
Cost: Free, $5 for lunch.

Register Online at www.ultrateenchoice.org

Or call 202-544-5081

View all of the photos in the
Photo Gallery here.



        Letter to the Editor of the Washington Times: :By Richard Urban

I am writing in response to the Merit Pay editorial of September 9.  Although merit pay in itself is not a bad idea, the ends used to accomplish this, and many other of Mayor Fenty’s and Ms. Rhee’s goals do not justify the means.  Mayor Fenty and Ms Rhee have been vindictive and conniving in many of their dealings with the District’s adults and children.  Compassion, character and conscience are essential characteristics of a true leader.  A true leader is transparent, and truly works for the public good.

There are many questions that need to be asked by the Times and other media about Ms. Rhee.  Why did two nonprofits close to Ms. Rhee hire several teachers for $1,000 a week to lobby their colleagues to accept merit pay?   Does Ms. Rhee promote an “alternative values” agenda that favors regulations that legitimize same sex relationships, while at the same time discriminate against programs that promote traditional values?  Why was ULTRA Teen Choice kicked out of DC public schools without cause, with reasons being fabricated afterward?  Why have health standards been passed that specify the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in middle school in spite of a lack of parental support for these standards?   Why was a before school  community prayer meeting that was being organized by Eastern Senior High School alumni cancelled after the Chancellor’s office learned about it and claimed that it would violate separation of church and state?  Why have special education programs been gutted, with the Chancellor being close to being held in contempt of court?  Why have highly qualified veteran teachers, including popular Wilson High School teacher Dr. Art Siebens, been removed.?  Why did Ms. Rhee first meet with   the Friends of Ludlow-Taylor Elementary school on Capitol Hill, but not with the school’s PTA?
Ms. Rhee has repeatedly shown disrespect, or even contempt for DC Public school parents, teachers, and children.  I personally know of four teachers at Eastern Senior High School who retired just this past school year. One did not bother to finish the school year. After 25 years of teaching, he was fed up with unruly classrooms and lack of support from the school administration. Another teacher worked heroically to help 10th grade students who were reading at fifth grade level. She was subjected to repeated "evaluations", and has also retired. Another teacher had a stroke and recovered. She too had served students for over 25 years, and has also retired. 
Although Ms. Rhee lacks an education plan for Washington, DC, there are clear agendas that she is pushing.  One is to create acceptance of homosexual lifestyles throughout the school system.  This is connected to the effort to block, remove or push out teachers, service providers, or anyone else that promotes traditional values, or may come from a faith-based perspective, or may be less inclined to accept such changes:  thus, the cancellation of the prayer meeting at Eastern.
True school reform can never come through unscrupulous means, and cannot come without the support of the community, and without upholding the traditional values that the great majority of the community cherish.  Children do not grow up in a vacuum.  The real battleground is to strengthen families and marriages by reducing sex outside of marriage and increasing the number of children who grow up in stable, two parent families.  Ms. Rhee’s policies are antagonistic to the strengthening of traditional families and strong community involvement from both faith based and other community organizations.  As such they can never bring true, long lasting reform. Read more about this topic.

Guest Editorial: My View of the AIDS Epidemic: By Stranjae’ Ivory My thoughts on the video on AIDS in “Black America (Out of Control)” is that of course it’s a sad epidemic affecting and infecting the whole globe. Thousands and thousands of people die each year from this disease including young innocent children in poor countries born to infected mothers or those who were unconsciously exposed to it in life. I personally don’t know where this disease started and how it got a hold of the human race. I hear different things of its origin; where it derived from.

The ways to prevent this disease are always the most well known, which is to protect yourself by using condoms AT ALL TIMES during intercourse. To me, I think abstaining is the best option anyone can consider and should be well notarized just as much as condoms are. Also there has to be a stop to the major drug usage, especially the ones who are transmitting needles to each other while they take their drugs, which causes a high rate of contracting this disease. That still continues today. People need to stop being in denial of this epidemic and recognize it and talk about it even amongst their close ones. Lastly, I would say like everyone else that there needs to be a cure for this. There needs to also BE A STOP TO THE SPREAD OF THIS.

I would say that there are people helping to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, such as singers, actors/actress, and many other activists. There needs to be many more others in our communities and in our families and other relations who can also reach people about this disease. Also, I’m going to mention the television stations and what they promote to the youth needs to be not so focusing on sex, degrading women, flashy things, violence, and money all the time. Yes, there are commercials promoting safe sex by using condoms, but once again there needs to be an awareness about ABSTINENCE FOR ALL AGES until marriage as an alternative too. There are still cases of people contracting diseases or infections by using a condom since some can be contracted by touching areas of skin not covered by the condom. Lastly, the church needs to not be so naive. It seems they’re just “beating around the bush” as some people would say when all they have to do is say to abstain since that’s in the Bible, stop being so promiscuous, get tests constantly, avoid all the risk ,but if you were to stray away be at least smart enough to wear a condom ALL THE TIME! Read more youth essays. Youth and young adults: send us your comments on teens and sexuality focusing on the benefits of good character and abstinence and we may print them in this newsletter: rurban@ultrateenchoice.org.

Healthy Intimate Personal Relationship Educational Program Interview: The Healthy Intimate Personal Relationship Education Program (HI PREP) provided by ULTRA Teen Choice at Pilgrim Baptist Church is ongoing. The program is being held Wednesday nights beginning at 7 p.m. at the church, 700 I St. NE, until Dec. 10, 2008. Guests are welcome. Richard Urban, ULTRA Teen Choice co-founder, recently interviewed a program participant, Danyale Shepard. Highlights of the interview follow:
Mr. Urban: What have you learned or what do you like about participating?
Danyale: There’s a lot to be gained as far as information about sexual abstinence and different STDs and not just that but some of the mentality of the young girls and guys about being sexually educated and I’ve seen lots of things that are interesting.
Mr. Urban: What is the most important thing that you’ve picked up so far about participating?
Danyale: The most important thing I would have to say is to remain abstinent because there’s a lot of things out there that you can catch and some of them aren’t able to be cured and you have to be educated, especially younger teens who don’t know what they might be getting themselves into and I think it’s a good place to learn and you can bring other people and they’ll learn too.
Mr. Urban: Would you recommend it to other young people?
Danyale: Yes, I would recommend it to younger people. Anybody can get information and it really doesn’t have to be a certain age.
Mr. Urban: Why are you sexually abstinent?
I am practicing sexual abstinence because I’m aware of what’s out there and I would rather prepare myself for other things other than sex, as far as education and other things that are more valuable than just sex.
Mr. Urban: What are some of the activities going on in the program?
Danyale: The financial literacy part, learning about responsibility, bills, investing, stocks and bonds, and stuff of that nature that will be helpful later on.
Mr. Urban: Are there any closing comments or thoughts in general that you would like to say?
Danyale: I would like to say that I would recommend that anyone come. It’s really good information.

ULTRA Teen Choice Summer Youth Program concludes successfully: By Stacey Urban Youth participating in the Department of Employment Services Summer Youth Program at ULTRA Teen Choice ended their work the week of August 18 and are back in school. One of the teens plans to enter the Jobs Corps program.
While at ULTRA Teen Choice the young people learned aspects of running a nonprofit including fundraising and getting out information. They did telemarketing, donor care, helped put out a newsletter, prepare fliers about upcoming events, designed a Tee-shirt, and data entry. The teens also learned how to give presentations encouraging abstinence from drugs, alcohol and sex before marriage. It was an educational experience for all concerned.
ULTRA Teen Choice co-founders Richard and Stacey Urban hope the youth benefited from the experience and that the young people – Torkwase, Brittany, Kennethia, and Sama’Ria – will do well in the future.

UTC Annual Fund Drive: The goal of the fundraiser is to get at least 80 pledges to donate $25.00 per month so the program can continue and expand. They have already had over 250 youth participate in the counseling clubs but hope to increase that amount. They are really looking forward to more donations. You can donate by going to their website at www.ultrateenchoice.org or contact their office at 202-544-5081.

Watch The I am Abstinence Working video:
at www.ultrateenchoice.org. Hear testimonies of ULTRA Teen Choice youth about why abstinence works for them and about how the ULTRA Teen Choice program makes a difference in their lives.

Donate To ULTRA Teen Choice: To Donate Click Here

Contact ULTRA Teen Choice:

Telephone: 202-544-5081
Fax: 202-547-1853
Email: rurban@ultrateenchoice.org