Onslow County Takes Action

Healthy Youth of Onslow

With Onslow County consistently ranking in the top five for counties in NC with the highest teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates, Healthy Youth of Onslow was initiated in 2014.

Bringing together community leaders, local community-based organizations, champions for teen health, and parents, the coalition set out to raise awareness of local teen pregnancy needs through a community-wide initiative.

Looking for a successful model to adopt, Healthy Youth of Onslow identified the federally-funded Gaston Youth Connected project in Gaston County, NC, as an option that could greatly meet the needs of the county.

Gaston Youth Connected was one of the nation’s first community-wide initiatives to prevent teen pregnancy and help youth become healthy adults through: stakeholder identification and education, integration of youth programming and clinical services—including a teen wellness center, increasing use of effective, evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs, and partnering with diverse populations.

Partnering with the Onslow County Partnership for Children, SHIFT NC began work on this project. A community leaders meeting was held in June 2014 to discuss the project with local stakeholders and invite them to join the project. There were 26 leaders from the community present for the first meeting and a core group of dedicated and passionate leaders began monthly meetings.

Healthy Youth of Onslow paved the way for NC Youth Connected, and has been helping incorporate evidence-based strategies in program implementation, helping improve local clinics, and helping link youth to healthcare in Onslow County.