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The talk was sponsored by the Cambria Heights-based group Greater Queens Chapter of the Links Inc., a womens volunteer service...
By Kathianne Boniello
There was a lot of sexy talk in the classrooms of York College in Jamaica Saturday morning, but it was not for fun.
The talk was sponsored by the Cambria Heights-based group Greater Queens Chapter of the Links Inc., a womens volunteer service organization, as part of its second annual Youth Summit. Organizers said the goal of the event was to give teens a chance to both speak out and learn about topics ranging from human sexuality and pregnancy to stress management and poetry in hip-hop music.
We want them to make good choices and be satisfied with their life, said Jerolyn Minter, first vice president of Links, so when they get into college theyre standing on two very firm feet.
Some 100 teens took advantage of about eight different seminars throughout the day, including one workshop run by pediatric nurse Liesl Hall.
Hall fielded dozens of questions on sex and took the opportunity to diffuse a number of myths about sex and pregnancy for between 30 and 40 students during her workshop.
They get to ask me the questions they cant ask momma, she said after the workshop. It is extremely important.
Hall said giving teenagers honest, factually correct information about sex and pregnancy has helped push down the rates of infection for sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy and abandonment of infants.
Some parts of the summit gave teens a chance to learn from each other with seminars organized and run by students from the Humanities and Arts Magnet High School in Cambria Heights.
Students Talina Richey, 16, of Queens Village, Shaquan Skipper, 16, of Jamaica and Alissa Anderson, 16, of the Bronx tried to give their counterparts the facts about pregnancy.
I feel its easier for them to talk to us, Richey said.
Teacher Sabrina Orjun, who supervised the students during their workshop, said: I really wanted it to be where students had a chance to talk and to be frank and open and not to be shy.
Sandra Jackson Berger, president of the Queens chapter of Links, said the seminars were a way for adults to listen to the teens concerns.
We want them to know we care and we want to be a source of information for them, Berger said.
Marilyn Artis, a motivational speaker who often works with teens, was to give the keynote speech during the summit.
Artis, who grew up in St. Albans and lives in Jamaica, said she reaches out to teens to offer them a resource.
I believe that success is not complete until you pass the baton, she said. Its about addressing the kids issues.
I tell them life is like an ATM machine, she said. You only get out what you put in.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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