Connect is an online resource for parent, teens and providers to help navigate youth into the services they need to be successful. No better example of Connect and the impact it can have is the story of Chelle Jones, Community Health Worker for Imatter (prevention services of BirthMatters).
Listing Chelle’s contributions to adolescent health would not capture the depth of her journey as a community health worker. Understanding how Chelle came to this position is vital in understanding her passion. As a former resident of public housing, she knows first-hand the disparities her community faces. Chelle works with our adolescents in public housing to educate and increase awareness of the importance of preventing unplanned pregnancies. Chelle is a transformational leader who is transforming the community and those she serves. In her role as a community health worker, Chelle’s goal is to provide youth and organizations with the education and awareness needed to improve sexual health outcomes for those in poverty, but more importantly, to connect youth to the resources and services they need to survive and thrive.
Since 2010, the birth rate has declined 47% and, in 2015, for the first time recorded, Spartanburg County’s teen birth rate is below the state rate. While many community partners have worked to ensure this success, Chelle Jones has contributed in a substantial way. Since November 2014, over 300 vulnerable youth in the City have received services from her and 7% of her clients have accessed sexual health care for the first time. In 2016, Chelle is estimated to serve 250 youth at the Spartanburg County detention center and local housing authorities.
Chelle’s participants to date have reported the following outcomes:
• 93% said the next time they have sex they plan to use a condom & will not have sex without using one
• 98% said it is important to use a condom even if another form of birth control is being used
• 89% said they were more likely or much more likely’ to say no if a boy/girl puts pressure on them to have sex when they did not want to
• 84% said if they were to have sex within the next 3 months they would be more likely or much more likely to use hormonal birth control methods.
These outcomes are outstanding and set the bar for programs in Spartanburg and in South Carolina.
Chelle Jones is a community champion to Connect and we appreciate her passion, dedication and hard work to improving the health outcomes of Spartanburg's teens. To learn more about Chelle and Connect your teens to her services, click here.