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5K walk-run supports teen abstinence

DETROIT — On Sept. 15, Motivity will host its first annual 5K walk-run to help combat some of the myths surrounding teenagers and sex and to educate metro Detroit youth about abstinence. The walk-run will take place at Belle Isle Park from 8:30 a.m. to noon and includes entertainment, refreshments, and giveaways for everyone.

Since October 2011, Motivity, a 501(c)3 nonprofit youth organization, has been accepting reasons as to why teens should wait to have sex. During the walk-run, participants will collectively walk and run over 200-plus miles — a mile for each reason that has been submitted. Both males and females, from teenagers to seniors, submitted their reasons via Facebook, e-mail and through the MOTIVITY Web site. Some people even shared detailed stories of how engaging in teenage sex led to single parenthood, serving time in jail, dropping out of high school, and the loss of college scholarships and career opportunities.

“Most teenagers have sex not because they want to, but because they feel pressured to, and they falsely believe that everyone else is doing it,” says Motivity’s Founder and Board Director Donna Pinchum. “We are also living in a society where our kids are being flooded with sexual messages. From the lyrics in today’s music, to the candy and shampoo commercials, whether it’s directly or indirectly, everything is selling sex.”

In 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Data Driven Detroit:

Of the 2,421 teen births in Detroit:

– 44 were to girls under age 14

– 875 were to girls ages 15-17

– 1,502 were to girls ages 18-19

– 2,127 of the 2,421 teens births were to African American girls

In addition, 41 percent of African American teen pregnancies end in abortion.

Also, in 2007, Kids Count found that Detroit had the highest level — 32 percent — among the 50 largest U.S. cities for persons age 18 to 24 who: (1) are not presently enrolled in school; (2) are not currently working; and (3) have no degree beyond a high school diploma or GED. They also reported significant increases of HIV infection among 13 to 19 year old African American males.

“These statistics should sound the alarm. Clearly, we have a problem, a very serious problem. As parents and adults, it is our responsibility to teach our teens that they can refrain from having sex,” says Pinchum. “Parents do not want their teens engaging in sex, so why not teach them that abstinence is the best option?”

Registration is open to everyone. The donation cost is $20 per person and includes food, a T-shirt and other giveaways. Proceeds will help support abstinence programming and training throughout schools and metro Detroit. Visit www.motivityenterprises.org to register.

For more information, call 313.804.8019 or e-mail info@motivityenterprises.org

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