Part of the reason life can be so fun is that we all have different talents and abilities to share with others. Ambassador Jan Collins has the gift of writing, and she uses her powers for good. She’s been a journalist and editor in Michigan, North Carolina, and South Carolina. One of her earliest stories was in Ann Arbor about a high-school program for pregnant teens in Ann Arbor. This article was her introduction to sexual and reproductive health issues, and she has continued to write about these topics ever since.
“I think it's important to advocate in the best way for you- in other words, use your own special talents. For me, that’s writing. I do articles and op-eds and letters to the editor. But for other people it might be going to hearings, or lobbying, or doing research, or teaching classes. I think you have to figure out what you're good at.”
For Jan, being an Ambassador is all about helping young people. She knows that unplanned pregnancies can have devastating effects on young South Carolinians, and proper sex education can be crucial in helping young people realize their dreams. Being an Ambassador puts her in a position to help bring about policy changes. She wants to see a well-educated youth population, including her four young granddaughters. Jan is tires to think about others, just like her mother did. Her mother wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, but she was kind.
Jan says anyone who wants to advocate for sexual health needs to be patient. Educating people does not happen overnight, but she also says advocates should be persistent.
“Changing attitudes in South Carolina—that can take some time. But you don’t want it to take too much time or it will never happen.”