SOURCE: EXCEL - Statewide Youth Coalition

EXCEL - Statewide Youth Coalition

February 10, 2009 12:24 ET

EXCEL - Statewide Youth Coalition Promotes "Whole Person" Lifestyle Model at State Capitol

SANTA FE, NM--(Marketwire - February 10, 2009) - A group of 50+ youth accompanied by their adult mentors presented their "Whole Person" message to legislators at the Round House today. The youth, representatives of the EXCEL - Statewide Youth Coalition, met with legislators to encourage their support for using the "Whole Person" model for working with teens throughout the state.

The "Whole Person" model includes:

--  Identifying individuals as "whole persons," not just the physical, but
    also their intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions as
    well
--  Addressing character and relationship skills development
--  Utilizing research-based, medically accurate information concerning
    the consequences of early sexual activity for teens
--  Focusing on healthy relationships, goal setting, choices and
    consequences, media literacy, and the important role of parents in the
    decision-making of their teens, and
--  Emphasizing personal values, self control and leadership development
    

"Using the 'Whole Person' model with EXCEL youth has provided them with needed skills and enabled them to be healthier and more successful. These young leaders are having a huge impact in their communities," explained Elizabeth Brewer-Beers, RN, Socorro General Hospital - Healthy Family Initiative Project Director.

"The life skills they have gained are helping them to continue their commitment to healthy life choices and making them positive role models among their peers," she added.

One of the areas on which the "Whole Person" model focuses is teen pregnancy prevention. Some supportive facts that youth cited from a 2004 National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy survey included:

--  Sixty-nine percent of teens surveyed said they do not think it's okay
    for high school teens to have sexual intercourse
--  Two-thirds of sexually experienced teens said they wished they had
    waited longer to have sex
--  Over the past decade, the number of sexually active teens in NM and
    the nation has declined.
    

The activities of the EXCEL - Statewide Youth Coalition are funded through a federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Children and Families grant.

For more information on the program and the EXCEL - Statewide Youth Coalition, contact Elizabeth Brewer-Beers, RN at (575) 835-8791.

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