Children “at promise”: Hope is a powerful contraceptive

Dr. Michael Carrera
Dr. Michael Carrera with the Children Youth and Families Working Group

On April 20, the founder of New York City’s Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program addressed Washington Grantmakers’ Children, Youth, and Families Working Group about his plans for Washington, D.C. Dr. Michael Carrera is working with Washington Grantmakers member D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (CYITC) to develop a “flagship program” at the Trinidad Recreation Center in Ward 5, which reopened last month after a two-year, $6.8 million renovation.  

Carrera founded the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program in Harlem in 1984 with a unique approach: Rather than thinking of youths as “at risk,” why not view them as “at promise” and focus on “goodness, gifts and possibilities”? The program works with youths in seven key areas: education, employment, family life and sexuality education, self-expression, lifetime individual sports, medical and dental care, and mental health services. What drives Carrera? “I ask myself, what do I want for my own daughter? That’s what I want for other people’s kids, too.”  

Results for program participants–who may begin in 5th or 6th grade and continue throughout high school and sometimes beyond–have been impressive: a 50 percent reduction in teen pregnancies, a 20 percent increase in high school graduation, and a 17 percent increase in college acceptance.

Read more about Dr. Carrera’s recent work here.