Education for a Lifetime (EFL) equips middle and high school students with medically sound training on the benefits of avoiding sexual activity outside of marriage. More than 6,000 students annually hear presentations in their classrooms with messages that remind students they are valuable and that their past does not dictate their future. As a result, the number of students who highly agree that sexual risk avoidance leads to healthier outcomes increases by 65% after the training.
Trained volunteers, local physicians and Life Network staff have presented this hope-filled, biblically based message since 1987. Teaching primarily in public schools, we teach concepts such as: decision making, goal setting and character education through a curriculum called ‘Pursue.’ This high energy, interactive program covers: living a life by design, healthy relationships, developing wisdom through critical thinking, seeing value in yourself, showing courage to stand up for yourself and others, and committing to a strong foundation for your future.
Students shared the following after hearing the presentation:
“You helped me realize my value and that I deserve to be loved correctly. You absolutely changed my life and I am changed for the better.”
“…I had no clue how serious the consequences of having sex were. I used to think that if you used a condom you would be fine. I used to think pregnancy was the worst thing that could come from sex. Now I definitely know I’m wrong. Now I am determined to not have sex until marriage. Thank you for taking the time to teach me.”
“I really appreciate you taking the time to come to my class, without this program to help guide me through life, I may have made a mistake that affects my whole future. I learned that I have the power and control to make my own decisions and know what is both ethically and morally good for me… THANK YOU!”
In addition to Pursue, we offer parent talks through churches and community organizations to prepare and educate parents. Ultimately, we want teens to realize that making healthy choices will enable them to stay in school, attain a quality education and have the ability to focus on their life goals and dreams.
In 2018, we launched a new program in area high schools called Who Can Relate. This curriculum is a presentation on the issue of teen suicide. Students are asked to consider three questions as part of the training:
- Who needs you?
- Where do you find your value?
- Who loves you?
As students reflect on their answers to these questions, their risk of suicide decreases and their optimum health outcome increases.