"No Baby!" billboards pop up across Frayser - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

"No Baby!" billboards pop up across Frayser

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - New billboards are popping up across Frayser with a message aimed at teaching young girls how to say, "No."

Deborah Hester Harrison is hoping billboards like the one recently erected in Frayser will help empower girls and reduce teen pregnancies.

"To help them to develop the self-esteem and all these type of things where they are comfortable with themselves, love themselves, and believe in themselves," she said.

The billboards are part of a massive media and educational campaign called "NO BABY!"  The campaign is designed to give girls the tools they need to resist peer pressure to have sex.

"That they feel confident within themselves that they can say no or not to do something they'd rather not do just simply because they don't know how," Harrison said.

The teen pregnancy rate in Frayser is 26 percent - a rate that has reached shocking proportions.

"There are not as many resources in the Frayser community as there might be in other areas," Harrison said. "The need was certainly there, and we picked one area instead of an entire city because this is really a pilot."

Pastor Rickey Floyd says campaigns like this are needed in the community to help educate young people.

"Anything that brings awareness and consciousness to issues we're having in our community is a good thing," he said.

Floyd listed community influences that must be overcome to solve the teen pregnancy problem.

"The poverty rate plays a major role in it," he said. "Low self-esteem plays a major role in it.  What we've got to do is find some economic development.  We got to find mentors."

The "NO BABY!" campaign, which includes a website, was funded by anonymous donors.

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