"We help teens find their inner strengths, their inner compass that will help them navigate better decision making. The expanded focus is a natural progression for GCAPP and aligns directly with the work we’ve done for 17 years."
--- Jane Fonda, Founder and Chair Emeritus
OUR AREAS OF FOCUS:
- TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION: We are continuing our powerful and important work that has seen teen births drop by 57% since GCAPP's inception. But the issue remains urgent. Each year more than 12,000 teen girls give birth and Georgia remains ranked in the bottom half of the U.S. in teen pregnancies.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & NUTRITION: Georgia has the third highest rate in the nation for children between the ages of 10-17 who are either obese or overweight. Our work inspires young people to take charge of their bodies, their lives and their futures.
- HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS: The teen years represent a window into how we manage relationships as adults. Learning healthy patterns early is critical because healthy relationships with friends, peers and adults have a huge bearing on how they do in life as adults.
The New GCAPP: Backgrounder
Our mission is to improve the overall health and well-being of young people in Georgia to ensure a more powerful future for us all.
We believe all children are entitled to a safe and healthy adolescence characterized by hope, respect and opportunity for a productive future.
GCAPP THEORY of CHANGE:
When we empower our young people to make healthy choices, we ensure their ability to achieve their full potential in our communities, unencumbered by teenage pregnancy, bolstered by strong physical health, and supported by healthy relationships.
What is the new name and when does it become official?
The new name, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, becomes official January 2013. The name and expanded focus was approved by the GCAPP Board in August and was first announced publicly in October by Jane Fonda, founder, at GCAPP’s annual fall fundraiser.
Why the new direction to expand your work?
In our 17-year history of working with adolescents and teen pregnancy prevention, we know teen pregnancy is often a symptom of many difficult circumstances young people face. Preventing teen pregnancy often starts by changing those circumstances and perspectives in a way that inspires and empowers young people to make healthy lifestyle choices. Adolescent parenting often impacts educational goals and derails futures, and creates cycles of poverty, poor health, and fragile families. And because of this, we’ve always taken a holistic approach to our work.
Our expanded scope mirrors the approach urged by the U.S. Office of Adolescent Health which includes teen pregnancy, physical health and nutrition, and healthy relationships. This is a natural progression for GCAPP and aligns directly with the work we’ve done for 17 years. Our work has always been about making sure young people have the knowledge, skills, information, and motivation they need to make good, healthy choices. We know the adolescent years represent a critical stage of development. It’s well documented that these are years that harbor many risks, but as the gateway to adulthood, they also present and opportunity for sustained health and wellbeing through education and prevention efforts. The adolescent years need more focus and attention in terms of public health, and the new GCAPP will help bring more focus to Georgia’s youth.
Why the new name?
We are keeping most of our name and replacing it with two words, Power & Potential, that really signify the outcomes of our current work and our work moving forward. The new name, says it all…less futures derailed, and more young people becoming empowered and living up to their full potential. The new name also allows us to keep our acronym, which has become well known throughout the state and the country.
What are the new programs or projects?
We will begin our launch of new programs in the physical activity arena. More information will be shared with about this in coming weeks. Stay tuned!
We will leverage our strength and collaborative relationships and connect the work back to the population we have a 17 year history of serving and leverage our ability to mobilize, advocate and educate adolescents in a way that enhances their overall wellbeing, beginning with physical health. Georgia has the third highest rate in the nation for children between the ages of 10 – 17 who are either obese or overweight. This has become a major problem in Georgia. It is a call to action for us in the same way it was 17 years ago when we began working to prevent teen pregnancy in Georgia. At that time Georgia held the dubious distinction of leading the nation in teen pregnancies. We want to continue to inspire young people to more fully take charge of their bodies, their lives, their futures.
What about Teen Pregnancy…will GCAPP continue its work in this area?
Yes. We are in no way abandoning our work in teen pregnancy prevention. We will continue to keep the issue front and center. Since the founding of GCAPP in 1995 we’ve seen a drop of 57% decline in teen births and which has moved Georgia from the state with the worst teen birth rate to the 13th. But the issue still remains urgent, wide and deep in Georgia and there’s no time for complacency. Each year more than 12,000 teen girls give birth and in all likelihood they will not be the odds. We are now working to move Georgia out of the bottom 25 states. We have much more work to do in the teen pregnancy prevention arena.