Frayser teen encourages peers to talk to parents - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Frayser teen encourages peers to talk to parents about abstinence

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Frayser teen, concerned about the teenage pregnancy crisis in her neighborhood, has made a vow she hopes other teens will follow.

Sunday, members of St. James AME Church asked 16-year-old Jalayah Jeff to be their Youth Day speaker, because of the vow she made to not have sex until marriage.  Several weeks ago, Jeff made her decision public at a special ceremony where she promised to wear a purity ring symbolizing her pride at being a virgin.

"I just feel that getting a purity ring just makes my relationship more conscious with God and myself," she said.

Jeff lives with her parents in Memphis' 38127 zip code, just three blocks from Frayser High School. Church leaders hope Jeff's vow of abstinence will encourage other girls to take a vow of abstinence too.

"I think it did to those other young ladies who observed it - I think it had an effect on them," Rev. Walter Reid said. "At least, it caused them to think."

Jeff's father, Jessie, said he is proud of his daughter's decision.

"It felt as if some of the things I had been trying to instill in her since birth are actually working," he said.

Meanwhile, Jalayah hopes more parents will talk to their teenagers about abstinence.

"Abstinence is a word that people cringe to now a day, but I think parents should just talk to their kids," she said. "Sometimes parents don't know everything that's happening in their child's life, so I think communication between a child and parents is real key."

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