Ask for help with tough choices, teens told
Looking for the best choices, and seeking help when choices are tough to make, were the messages for the island's youth at the launch of the 18th annual Teen Prevention Month.
The proclamation at Teen Services was also a chance to share the message that few of us make it through our teens without a few stumbles.
“When I was your age, I knew everything,” an audience of students heard yesterday from Patrice Frith Hayward, of the Women's Resource Centre.
She added: “I could just slap myself when I think of some of the choices I made.”
Choosing to drop out of school at the age of 17, for a job of $110 a week, was one decision Ms Frith Hayward would come to regret — but she refused to let it determine her path.
Nevertheless, she added: “I have always had to fight a little harder when it came to getting jobs and just getting taken seriously in life.
“My advice to you brilliant, bright, amazing young people is to stop and think before making choices that will affect the rest of your lives. Trust me, I have been there.”
Teen Services offers a comprehensive range of services beyond education and help with teen pregnancy.
Health minister Jeanne Atherden pointed out that sexually transmitted disease was another consideration for Bermuda's young.
In congratulating Teen Services for decades of “tremendous work”, Ms Atherden noted that Bermuda's teen pregnancy rates remain low, but said it was imperative for young people to have “askable” parents.
“Parents must have open communication with their children at an early age,” the minister said. “Let them know where to get help if they are having challenges.”