BY-LA Is Back!!!


Believe in Youth-Louisiana (BY-LA), one of our positive youth development programs, is back! This trauma-informed teen pregnancy prevention program teaches age-appropriate and medically accurate sexual and emotional health to youth in Louisiana. After taking a brief hiatus in the summer of 2018, BY-LA resumed implementation at the start of the 2018 school year, expanding into new territory within the state.

As public health professionals on the frontlines, the IWES team knows how crucial it is to continue implementing BY-LA and similar programs in schools. Ninety-eight percent of program participants said they would recommend BY-LA to a friend and 94% felt more positive about themselves and their self-worth after participating in the program. These statistics have encouraged the team to return with an even greater determination to provide vital health information to our youth.

Along with the expansion into new territories, BY-LA is also placing a focus on reaching more teenagers (ages 15-19) who may not have received this critical information yet. The program’s curriculum will continue to be taught in a variety of settings including; middle schools, high schools, community-based organizations, faith based organizations, after-school programs and juvenile justice institutions.

Our goal is to bring BY-LA to as many students as possible within the state and we need your help to do it! If you were a previous partner organization and want to bring BY-LA back or are interested in learning more about the program, please reach out to us. Together we can help to ensure that youth across Louisiana have access to this health programming.

To get in touch with the BY-LA program, please email our Program Manager, Tara Reed or call (504) 599-7712.

More About BY-LA!

BY-LA is federally funded by the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) and utilizes the evidence-based intervention, Making Proud Choices! Youth also receive four IWES-developed emotional wellness modules designed to help youth understand stress, develop positive coping mechanisms and make connections between emotional wellness and risk behavior. The program prioritizes quality program delivery, providing safe spaces for all participants, incorporating positive youth development practices and institutionalizing a trauma-informed approach. BY-LA initially began at IWES in 2014 and is currently in its fourth year of implementation. The program currently serves youth in Louisiana's Regions 1 (Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemine Parishes), Region 2 (Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes) and Region 3 (St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Assumption, St. Mary, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes).

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