True You Maryland brings together partners in six rural Maryland counties—Allegany, Washington, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester. Together, we’re working to advance the sexual health and well-being of youth here at home.
We know it takes more than just one program or one campaign to make change. That’s why all True You counties rely on diverse teams, bringing together young people, parents, health departments, local school systems, universities, community programs, and systems not typically engaged in adolescent health initiatives.
Young people in rural counties experience a range of health disparities. That’s because rural communities often face challenges that make it harder to access quality sexual and reproductive health care and education, such as the distance required to travel to see a healthcare provider, the lack of public transportation, higher poverty rates, and lower rates of insurance coverage.
True You Maryland prioritized its partners by determining the areas of greatest need in the state.
All young people have the right to the information and skills they need to protect their health. They deserve age-appropriate, medically accurate information. Young people deserve answers to their questions about sex and relationships, free of shame and stigma no matter who they are, where they live, or what their income is.
Decades of research has found that in addition to helping to improving sexual health outcomes (such as reducing STIs and unplanned pregnancies), sex education can help prevent child sex abuse, create safer school spaces for LGBTQ young people, increase healthy relationships, reduce relationship violence, improve social-emotional learning, and increase media literacy.
Research also has shown that sex education can have a transformational impact on school climate by utilizing intersectional approaches that affirm race, gender, and other aspects of identity. High-quality sex education can contribute to dismantling barriers to social and racial justice by promoting equity and inclusion in classrooms and school environments.
The partners of True You Maryland, together with our youth advisory board and peer educators, have joined efforts to advance the sexual health and well-being of youth in six rural counties across the state.
Did you know parents and adolescents support sex ed in schools regardless of thier political affiliation?
In one 2017 study, 93% of parents reported supporting sexuality education in schools. And the vast majority wanted classes to cover puberty, healthy relationships, abstinence, sexually transmitted infections, and birth control. These are the topics True You Maryland champions.
Created and curated just for True You Maryland
in this together…
True You Maryland is a partnership of organizations and agencies representing various systems throughout Maryland:
Allegany County Health Department
Allegany County Public Schools
Dorchester County Health Department
Dorchester County Public Schools
Girls Inc. of Washington County
Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Maryland Rural Health Association
Maryland State Department of Education
Planned Parenthood of Maryland
Somerset County Health Department
Somerset County Public Schools
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Washington County Health Department
Washington County Public Schools
Wicomico County Health Department
Wicomico County Public Schools
Worcester County Health Department
Worcester County Public Schools
This project is/was supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Population Affairs (OPA), Teen Pregnancy Prevention Tier 1 grant, 1 TP1AH000234-01-00, as administered by the Maryland Department of Health. The information or content presented are those of the author and shall not be construed as the official position or policy, nor any endorsement, by HHS, the Federal Government, or the Maryland Department of Health.
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