Why I Do What I Do

June 16, 2014

This is why I do what I do! Please allow me to share an email I received from a student following our week of Think on Point:

Dear Ms. Tanea, I want to start off by saying thank you for my On Point experience. I was one in your fourth block class at [a local high school ]. I was one of the more quiet girls in the back. This was the first year I had On Point, and at first I thought it was going to be a little stupid. I thought great another adult telling me sex is bad. That isn't what you did, at all. You were a great teacher! I've learned so much! You've also taught me how to be a good girlfriend, and how to have a healthy relationship. My boyfriend is a junior and I'm a freshman, and we have a two year age difference. We have been together going on 4 years on and off. (He is 17 & I'm 15). I was worried with him being older that it would be awkward talking about sex and stuff like that with him. Neither of us really brought the subject up, because we never really knew how the other one felt about it. We talked last night about it and decided that sex isn't what either of us wants in our relationship right now. We talked about all the dangers about sex before marriage, and how if the condom was to break or birth control didn't work, neither of us are ready to raise a child. Were still kids ourselves. We are both still virgins and plan to stay until were married, thanks to you.

To take full credit for why these young people are still virgins would be a little presumptuous! But it warms my heart to receive an email like this. It is a reminder of the importance of our work. We spend much time in class discussing unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and that can be jarring information on its own. But the conversations about healthy relationships, the significance of learning good communication skills, conflict resolution are such an integral part of what our program can do for these students. The transfer of that information and the implementation of those skills are far less tangible for us. It’s not as simple as asking them to spit out facts and stats that they learned in class in order to find out if they have actually learned them. Sometimes it can feel like we are up against a brick wall when it comes to reaching the hearts of these high schoolers. It is very encouraging to receive a message like this. I’m proud to be a part of the amazing On Point team. This email gives me the extra boost I need to continue to work hard to share our hearts and our vision with our students. I am happy to share it, hoping that it will also encourage you to continue to pour into the young people in your lives, and to continue to support the work of On Point in our community!