Charlene's Story. Charlene was 14 years old when she first came to Teen Health Connection for a physical exam. The visit ended in tears when Charlene found out she was pregnant. “I cried and I cried. The nurse practitioner came out and talked to me,” Charlene recalls. "She stuck it out with me.” Despite her tears, Charlene knew she would be okay. The team at Teen Health Connection gave her more than just medical care. They told her about community resources to help her. “I needed that support group,” she says. “They were family to me.”
Nearly 20 years later, Charlene still goes to Teen Health Connection – as a parent. She brings her two daughters to Teen Health Connection because she wants them to receive the compassionate care she received as a teen. “Teen Health Connection is amazing,” she says. “I wish I was 21. I would still like to be a patient at Teen Health Connection.”
Marine PFC Jessica Ramos' Story. Jessica Ramos first walked into Teen Health Connection in 2006. Jessica was only 13 years old at the time but she knew that she wanted to be a marine. Valencia Jeffcoat, one of the Nurse Practitioners here at Teen Health Connection remembers that day she met Jessica. "She has a marine sticker on the back of her phone," Jeffcoat said. "She had a goal and was motivated to reaching that goal of joining the marines. With her determination and her family's support she achieved that goal." Jessica graduated from Garinger High School in May of 2011 and left for basic training in Georgia later that summer. Jessica has continued to succeed and now has a goal of learning to fly an airplane. "I dreamed of becoming a Marine. I strived and pushed myself and could not have reached my goal without the support of Ms. Jeffcoat. Without her, I would not be where I currently stand, as a proud Marine, " said Jessica. Teen Health Connection salutes Jessica Ramos on her service to our country and congratulates her on all of her successes.
Heather & Ian's Story. Heather and Ian Tavella were participants of our Teen Health Connection Love and Logic Parenting Course. They wanted to take the parenting class to learn valuable tools that could help them raise their children. "In the classes, they teach you nine critical parenting skills," Heather said. "The 'choices' option resonated with me the most because I could see the effects of that skill immediately. For example, I would ask my child if they would rather do homework now or do it later and forfeit TV time?" Ian said, "I got the most out of the course in how to properly instill trust in our children so that they listen to our concerns and wishes. By bringing them up in a safe environment and helping them make the right decisions, we are also providing good parenting modeling for our kids when they become parents."
Kambrya's Story. "If it wasn't for GEMS, I would probably be failing, having school trouble, making bad decisions...maybe even pregnant." - Kambrya McKinnely
Kambrya is a member of our GEMS (Girls Educated and Motivated for Success) group. This group is led by Delilah McDonald, a health educator at Teen Health Connection. In 2005, Delilah felt that a girls mentoring group was an ideal way to prevent girls from engaging in high risk behaviors. "When they join the group, they make the commitment to meet weekly and in return receive volunteer mentor guidance at every meeting", says Delilah. The discussions of the group can vary with topics ranging from bullying and dating and violence to healthy choices, finances (budgeting and saving) and how to apply to college.
In May of 2011, Edwarde Moise, a mentor of the group and Kambrya McKinnely, then an 8th grader at Coulwood Middle School agreed to sit down and talk about the impact GEMS has had on them. Edwarde pointed out that their self-esteem at this age is the primary focus. "They are stressing about being judged, accepted, caring about what others think and being a part of the 'in-crowd' at school", she said. "Middle school and high school is a very difficult time for some adolescents to have to make critical decisions. The GEMS group is a resource for these girls to use for help and advice they might not otherwise have." "I was getting into trouble at school and home, back-talking at school and home, getting sent to the principal's office and in-school suspension," said Kambrya. "My mom was referred to Teen Health Connection and then I started to see a counselor there and my counselor told us about GEMS." Edwarde has been a GEMS mentor since 2007. She joined the group because a friend of hers was on the Board of Directors at Teen Health Connection and suggested she would be helpful to this group, guiding them and sharing her personal experiences.
The Gray Family Story. "Teen Health Connection has been a blessing to our family. The support, guidance, patience, and understanding of everyone involved helped us through a very stressful and difficult time with our daughter," said John and Karen Gray. "Teen Health Connection guides you through the medical, nutritional and psychological aspects of an eating disorder. As parents, we want the best for our children. We found the best for our child through Teen Health Connection. We highly recommend Teen Health Connection to any family that is dealing with an eating disorder. You don't have to go through it alone."