The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) launched a call to action May 28 for Georgia youth by asking for their input on how to encourage abstinence and informed decisions among their peers.

Youth who have the best creative ideas on how to promote abstinence will have the opportunity to produce an star in the state's upcoming abstinence campaign.

In a national survey, eight out of 10 girls and six out of 10 boys who have had sex indicate that given a second chance, they would have waited. In addition, research conducted by DHR indicates that Georgia youth want honest dialogue about making the decision to be abstinent -- but often lack an outlet for discussion. While national rates of teen pregnancy and sexual activity have dropped in recent years, Georgia still has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.

With this contest, the Office of Adolescent Health and Youth Development will give Georgia's youth a chance to contribute to the cause. Young people can visit the contest Web site and send in their own posters, essays, stories, poems or their own ideas on how to discuss sexual abstinence.

Contest winners will have an opportunity to travel to Atlanta and work with advertising professionals to produce and star in statewide print, radio and/or TV advertising. The statewide abstinence campaign featuring the contest winners will be launched later this year.

Entries will be accepted until June 30. The youth advertising team be will selected in July. Production begins in August.

For information about the "Dating: What Are You thinking?" contest, visit the web site at www.IChooseToWait.com or call Amanda Moulson at 404-995-4539.

For information on adolescent health and youth development programs in Georgia, go to http://health.state.ga.us/programs/adolescent.



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