Yesterday, the African American Healthy Program (of Montgomery County, MD) sponsored a teen summit called “Getting Real and Going In.” It was in recognition of National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day and National STD Awareness Month.
The celebrity host was the beautiful and very engaging Angie Ange, a star radio personality at 93.9 WKYS. She has a long history of supporting youth and their events and has a special way of connecting with them.
We talked about sexting, how they feel some alcohol ads are targeted towards them, STDs, the four H’s, (Hepatitis, Herpes, HIV, HPV), and different ways on how to ask your partner if they’ve been tested.
One of the questions that was really interesting to me was, “What are the benefits of a 13/14 year old youth dating an adult (someone 18 and older)?” My mentor side kicked in and said “NO BENEFITS!!!!!” But after I checked myself, I realized that everything has benefits, which is why they happen. On the flip side, everything that has pros also has cons, opportunity costs and negative consequences.
The kids shared how older guys, for instance, usually have more money to spend and possibly even a car. Another youth pointed out that by dating a younger girl, a 18 year old boy may not have to worry about her being too experienced or having an STD. I hadn’t thought about that.
By talking about the benefits, we definitely got to understand the thought process of youth on this issue a bit more. And through the conversation, we could mix in the consequences and the flip sides of each benefit as we spoke.
I know that I have friends that lie or joke about their ages, but I don’t think you could pay me to endure what this younger generation is going through. There’s so much more help and support for them, but all of that is outnumbered by the temptations for the wrong path, which seem to be at every angle of the road. I’m dedicated to helping though!
Today, I’m thankful for honest teens and helpful adults! God Bless.