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Miss San Luis reaching out to parents to curb teen pregnancy
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Stephanie Pereda wants to help lower teenage pregnancy rates, and she figures a good way to do that is to talk to would-be parents' own parents.
Pereda, the reigning Miss San Luis, has chosen teen pregnancy as her platform in her bid later this year for the Miss Arizona crown, and she is speaking on that topic in “Awareness and Teen Pregnancy,” a series of workshops she hopes will help parents help their children to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
“What we want to do is give information to parents about how to speak with their children about sexuality, how to speak to them in the correct way, using the right words.”
Pereda is enlisting the help of her mother, Dr. Elizabeth Torres, a physician in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., who will actually head up the presentations offered free of charge to parents of adolescents. The first presentation took place Saturday, and follow-up sessions are set for March 16 and 23.
Pereda, crowned Miss San Luis as part of the city's Founders Day celebration in October, planned out the presentations as the first activity in her teen pregnancy platform leading up to the Miss Arizona Scholarship Pageant in June.
“Since before the (Miss San Luis) pageant began, I started reading a lot about my platform,” she said. “I found information that at the national level, Yuma County has (one of) the highest rate of teen pregnancy. It's a huge program. I have several friends and relatives who went through that. They're 21 years old and they're already mothers, they're getting pregnant at 17 or 18 years.”
The risk and consequences of pregnancy at an early age are many, Pereda added.
“They quit school, they're unprepared (to be parents), their boyfriends abandon them and they end up as single mothers living in their own parents' homes.”
Pereda's presentations to parents will also cover the topic of locally available resources for pregnant teens and their families.
The March 16 presentation will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. at the library in San Luis, Ariz., 1075 N. 6th Ave. The March 23 session is set for 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the library.
For more information, contact Pereda at (928) 341-3557 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.