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Addressing teen violence, pregnancy concern is focal point of session for Macon-Bibb youth

Community partners sought to educate dozens of Macon youth about adolescent-focused local issues like teen violence and pregnancy with the “Making Proud Choices” event Wednesday.

Fathers Among Men collaborated with Georgia Campaign Adolescent Power & Potential to address several youth-related issues in Macon-Bibb through the training session. More than 30 male youth in the county attended. The session was intended to help the youth make smart life choices. All students that successfully complete the training were to receive a $100 gift card as a way of addressing financial literacy.

Frederick Sterdivant, director of Fathers Among Men, said he was looking forward to the session pulling together young men from all sides of Macon and allowing them to positively engage with the information and share it.

“This training is about making proud choices in life and setting goals - determining who you are and who you want to be in the next five years,” he said. “It’s also about making proud choices around violence and having self-control as it relates to safe sexual information and health.”

Over 30 male youth in Bibb County joined the Making Proud Choices event at 3740 Bloomfield Village Drive.
Over 30 male youth in Bibb County joined the Making Proud Choices event at 3740 Bloomfield Village Drive.

Sterdivant said the session will inform male youth about abstinence. The event was carried out in collaboration with the Eban Project, a pregnancy prevention initiative for Black male youth ages 13 to 19 specifically in Macon-Bibb and Clayton counties. Their teen pregnancy numbers exceed both national and state averages.

In 2022, 22% of teen mothers in Bibb County had a second child, compared to the state average of 14%, according to Georgia Campaign Adolescent Power & Potential data.

“We have a responsibility as Black men to create a new narrative for who we are and what we’re capable of,” Jevon Gibson, co-director of the Eban Project, told The Telegraph. “Being a responsible man is not a bad thing – but a good thing.”

Sterdivant said the session is important because it also helps to reduce violence in the community, especially during spring break, which is this week.

“Some of them have a lot of time on their hands this week, so this keeps them occupied and connected,” he said. “It just keeps them from making bad choices and getting in trouble because they’re bored”

Sterdivant said young people want to be able to earn money and buy what they want when the reach a certain age, so Wednesday’s session with $100 gift cards helped show them how they can put effort in to get rewarded.

Over 30 male youth in Bibb County joined the Making Proud Choices event at 3740 Bloomfield Village Drive.
Over 30 male youth in Bibb County joined the Making Proud Choices event at 3740 Bloomfield Village Drive.

Fathers Among Men is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering fathers who serve and mentor Macon-Bibb’s young men. The organization is also a part of the Macon Violence Prevention program.

The Making Proud Choices event is open for male youth ages 13 to 21.