(WMC-TV) - A community in a pregnancy crisis is getting some help. Tuesday, Girls, Inc. announced the opening of two new pregnancy help centers in Frayser.
Deborah Hester-Harrison, President of Girl's Incorporated, said the new after-school centers would will allow her organization to do more in the battle against teen pregnancy.
"We're so excited," she said Tuesday.
The centers will be located at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Golden Gate Cathedral. Both facilities will be a place for girls in Frayser to participate in career counseling, tutoring, and other programs aimed at helping them build the skills they need to resist peer pressure to have sex.
But first, program organizers have to get the girls in the door.
"Getting the girls to the after school program, if it's not within walking distance, poses a challenge," Hester-Harrison said. "We have to provide transportation, which is very expensive, and parents have to get them there, so having it near a school is just very helpful."
"While it's a community issue and a community problem, most of the girls or teenagers who are pregnant attend our schools, so we need to be a part of this process," added Dr. Patricia Toarmina, who works for Memphis City Schools.
The opening of both centers follow Girl's Inc.'s involvement over the last year with the "No Baby" community awareness campaign, which brought increased awareness to the pregnancy epidemic.
"The statistics speak so loudly. Once these young girls have babies before finishing high school, it's pretty much over," Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said. "We can polish it up and pretend, but the numbers speak so clearly."
Organizers say both sites will offer ample space and resources that will enable Girl's Inc. to fulfill its mission of inspiring young girls by teaching them the importance of self-confidence, esteem, and respect