“Hi, I’m left-handed Lizzy.”
“This is a female condom.” “A what?” “A female condom.” “A what?” “A female condom.” “Oh, a female condom.”
“Yes, you can get pregnant from having sex standing up.”
I’m a sexuality educator; above are statements I say almost every day. My job is amazing and I love it. People are always asking me, “Lizzy, why do you do THAT job?” I just smile and ask them, “Why would I do anything else?”
It is clear to me why my job is important; here are some of the facts. Every day in Indiana 31 teenagers get pregnant, and 10 of them are under the age of 17. By 12th grade, 55 percent of Indiana teens have had sex. And it gets worse. Of those teens who are sexually active, 42 percent of them are not wearing a condom, putting themselves at risk for STDs, HIV and pregnancy. Young people are bullied and harassed every day for their sexual orientation or gender identification.
These are hard facts for most of us to swallow. Many adults I tell these stats to shake their heads and say, “What is wrong with young people?” I, on the other hand, get inspired to educate more people. There are many Hoosiers who don’t have access to medically accurate, age-appropriate information. That’s where I and my phenomenal colleagues come in.
Welcome to our first Sara and Albert Reuben Partners in Health Education blog. Sara and Albert Reuben were long-time residents of Indianapolis who cared deeply about various community needs and issues. Their gift of $500,000 to Planned Parenthood of Indiana was designated for educational initiatives and will be used to make a lasting impact in the state of Indiana.
I work with an inspiring group of educators around the state who work with people on a variety of sexuality topics. We believe that sexuality is an essential, lifelong aspect of being human; it should be celebrated with openness and mutual respect. Meet us:
- Diane (Northwest region), who is great at delivering thought-provoking, discussion-filled sessions.
- Jessica (Northeast region), who is stellar at finding ways to keep participants moving, engaged and active during sessions.
- Jasmine (Southwest region), who is great at finding programs to meet your needs.
- Betty (North Central region), who is phenomenal at inspiring passion and engagement.
- Leslie and myself-Lizzy (Central region), who will inspire thought-provoking lessons with fun activities that will be remembered for years to come.
This blog is a way for us to keep in touch with you and a way for you to learn more about us and the kind of work we do. We are trying to make a positive impact on the statistics above, but we can’t do it without your help. Stay tuned, be active and tell us what you want to know more about.