Lean On Us Unity, a nonprofit organization serving pregnant teens and young mothers, releases its first video public service announcement (PSA) entitled, “The Real Adolescents of Teen Pregnancy Prevention” during National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month in May.

Using a parody-type spin mirroring how society is portraying the “perfect reality” through popular television programs, the PSA depicts five teenage girls who are living perfect lifestyles, flaunty their purity rings, and abstaining from sex until marriage.

The girls perfect reality gets a reality check when the perfect guy comes along and shows them friendship, intimacy, and affection. The primary message of the PSA is to help the public understand that encouraging the perfect teenage lifestyle should not be mistaken as the ideal way to prevent teen pregnancy, and that encouragement should be given to teens who are unable to prevent pregnancy. Lean On Us Unity’s overall message is that teen pregnancy can happen to any teen, in perfect lifestyles or not, and should not be looked upon as a hopeless situation. Their goal is to encourage teens to seek organizations, like Lean On Us Unity, for support if they are unable to prevent pregnancy. The video PSA was produced by Catch 55 Media Group and is free to access on Youtube and Vimeo. The video can be circulated via any media format, including social media, without permission.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health’s latest study in 2012 on trends in teen pregnancy and childbearing,there were 29.4 births for every 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19, or 305,388 babies born to females in this age group. Nearly eighty-nine percent of these births occurred outside of marriage. The 2012 teen birth rate indicates a decline of six percent from 2011 when the birth rate was 31.3 per 1,000. The teen birth rate has declined almost continuously over the past 20 years. In 1991, the U.S. teen birth rate was 61.8 births for every 1,000 adolescent females, compared with 29.4 births for every 1,000 adolescent females in 2012. Still, the U.S. teen birth rate is higher than that of many other developed countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom. “The reality is that although teen pregnancy has declined over the years it still exists and will continue to exist, therefore we should be putting more time and effort in remedying the outcome instead of pouring into abstinence programs that are not proving effective,” says Priscilla Ofosu, Co-Founder of Lean On Us Unity.

Lean On Us Unity’s mission is to help break the chains of generational cycles and stigmas in families that have experienced parenting during teenage years. Through a 3-tier program, Lean On Us Unity offers classes not limited to parenting, communication, financial literacy, and career development. “Through our program our clients are learning how to forgive themselves, how to love beyond their circumstances, how to create peaceful living environments, and how to make wise choices moving forward. Understanding these fundamentals, I believe, is helping them to rebuild bridges to success,” says Dianeda Short, Co-Founder of Lean On Us Unity. Since its inception in 2012, Lean On Us Unity has served and supported 11 young mothers and has shared in the birth of three babies. Lean On Us Unity was also instrumental in assisting a young mother in achieving her GED and enrolling into Prince George’s Community College.

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