Students 'pinky promise' to abstain from sex, violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Students 'pinky promise' to abstain from sex, violence

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

Several children are making a serious "pinky promise" Sunday evening as part of a campaign to inspire teenagers to take responsibility for their choices.

Pinky Promise International hosted an event in Downtown Memphis, encouraging local children to take an oath to abstain from sex and violence.

"We have about 350 people that will actually be here," said Pinky Promise International founder Vicky Johnson.

Children in grades six through twelve will meet with their parents to take the oath.

"This is the culmination of nine months of rigorous instructional training," Johnson explained. "They've done community service; they've done academic prep."

Johnson says Pinky Promise International provides students with all of the resources they need, including mentorship and a life coach. The goal of the program is to teach them how to make responsible life decisions.

Pinky Promise graduate Jaeda Brown took the oath last year.

"Pinky Promise is one of the best organizations I have ever been in," Brown said. "It promotes abstinence, faith, and focus."

For the past three years, the organization hosted a black-tie event during which students stand before their parents and loved ones, promising to have a positive impact on their communities.

"So many negative things going on with kids nowadays," said parent Roy Coleman. "This is something positive."

Many parents credit the program with a positive change in their child's attitude.

"It's had such an impact on him," said parent Toni Porter. "He has come out of his shell and he's opening up a lot more. He's just a lot more confident."

Students who go through the program believe the community needs more organizations like Pinky Promise to combat teen pregnancy and violence. like the drive-by shootings that killed two young girls in Memphis on Friday.

Brown feels changed for the better from the program, and she believes others can benefit from this kind of guidance.

"This is the time where my age group, we can really make a difference."

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