Tell Them's youth council for policy change, SWARM (Students With A Responsible Message) heads to DC today to participate in the 12th annual Advocates for Youth Urban Retreat where they will receive comprehensive training on ways to improve sexual health education and programs in our state.
SWARM members attending the conference are Darian Ames (South Carolina State University), Nadia Anderson (Columbia College), Aaron Charleston (Benedict College), Jordan Craven (University of South Carolina), Ashley LeConte (South Carolina State University), Brittany Prince (University of South Carolina), Emily Rogers (College of Charleston), Jasmine Stewart (Winthrop University), Alexus Truluck (Claflin University), and Melanie Waddell (Converse College)
The four-day event includes 120 students from 20 states and 5 countries who will receive specialized training on grassroots and campus organizing, online advocacy, media outreach and public speaking. Activists will also conduct policymaker education visits on Capitol Hill.
The Council’s mobilization comes at a critical time for South Carolina’s young people who face some alarming statistics: 3 in 10 young women in our state will get pregnant before age 20. One in five new HIV/AIDS cases reported in South Carolina is among people age 25 and under. And, youth ages 15-24 account for almost half of new sexually transmitted infection cases.
While in DC, SWARM representatives will be live tweeting from conference events, sharing photos, and highlighting issues affecting today's youth. Traveling with a theme of "Our Issues, Our Voices", you can follow along at @tellthemsc on both Twitter and Instagram, or on our Facebook page.
The Council is known on campuses as Students with a Responsible Message (S.W.A.R.M), a name selected to underscore a core goal of building alliances around an issue.