Beacon of Light believes in transparency. We are eager to answer your questions. Here are a few of our most common inquiries.
Why is it important to educate teens on sexual health?
Every day teens are fed the lie that sex is no big deal, and everyone is doing it. Everywhere we look the media is portraying the normalization of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). The common advice given to teens is, "Just use protection and go to a clinic for free birth control. And if you find yourself with an unwanted pregnancy, abortion is an easy fix." Science and statistics tell a very different story.
What are some current statistics?
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are at an all-time high. According to the CDC, every year in the US there are 26 million new STI cases and half of them or 13 million are acquired by the youth ages 15-24.
1 in 5 people in the US have a STI.
1 in 4 teens reported having seen non-consensual shared nudes of other teens (sexting).
70% of US teens ages 14-18 have seen pornography.
Over 46% of young people reported that they saw online porn for the first time when it just "popped up", and 22% reported that someone else showed it to them when they weren't expecting it.
1 in 3 adolescents in the US is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
These realities aren’t just manifesting in physical consequences, such as STIs, infertility and cancer, but in mental health issues as well. Teens who engage in sexual activity are more vulnerable to depression and suicidal thoughts and attempts. Women who had an abortion are 81% more likely to experience mental health struggles such as anxiety disorders, depression, abuse of alcohol, marijuana use and suicide.
Is there hope for our youth?
The most recent study done by the CDC tells us that 70% of High School students are NOT currently having sex. When we share that statistic with students they are instantly encouraged by the fact that if they aren’t having sex THEY are in the majority. Additionally, we share that it is never too late to change their behavior toward greater health and thriving.
What is your goal at Beacon of Light?
Our goal at Beacon of Light is to prevent the lifelong, emotional and physical consequences of having sex at a young age. We do this by giving information and providing skills on decision-making and goal-setting to lower the risk, if not eliminate the risk altogether. We also encourage students who are already making healthy choices to continue to do so by providing powerful, fact-based reasons for their decisions. Let’s educate teens before they make life-impacting choices.
What is the California Healthy Youth Act, CHYA (AB329)?
In 2015 the State of California implemented the California Healthy Youth Act, AB329, requiring approximately 10 days of sex education instruction in public schools, once in junior high and once in high school. More information HERE.
How does Beacon of Light stay on mission with CHYA (AB329)?
The current state-compliant AB329 curricula available has been found to have layers of over-sexualized content and imagery and unbalanced messaging. Beacon of Light is proud to offer Check the Facts, an alternative state-compliant curriculum, to shine a bright light on the whole truth with no hidden agenda.
What is Check the Facts?
After reviewing the suggested curricula for California’s Healthy Youth Act, CHYA (AB329), Jeanette Fanconi, a credentialed teacher with a Master’s degree in Education, was concerned. She believed our youth deserve a better, more complete message regarding sex. In 2016 she created Check the Facts, a Comprehensive Sexual Health 10-day curriculum developed with the mission to educate, equip, and empower students to make life-affirming choices for their overall optimal health and well-being. Check the Facts has been successfully serving 6,000+ students per year in Northern California since it was created. There is nothing else on the market that compares to Check the Facts.
How are you currently reaching students?
Our plan is to equip health teachers with all the tools they need to teach Check the Facts in their classrooms. This model is sustainable, cost-effective, replicable, and has the potential to reach not only California but other states that follow. We are currently serving a Southern California School District in a 2-year pilot program with the potential to reach over 5,000 students. In Northern California, we have a private school pilot program that has been recently approved to move to full implementation in Fall 2023. We will be training their health teachers in Check the Facts and all their students will benefit from a curriculum that exists to educate, not sexualize.
Can I get trained as a speaker to bring Check the Facts to my local schools?
Yes, we offer a 10-hour virtual training course, over 3 sessions, for $999 per person. Pre-work required is approximately 35 hours to be completed before the live zoom sessions start. If you are interested to learn more please email us at Connect@Beaconof-Light.org
Do you have plans to expand outside the public schools?
Yes, we are currently fundraising for a video series that can be used outside the schools. Our hearts are to equip, educate and empower the youth and the community around them. We will continue growing to be a trusted source for the most up-to-date information on teens and sex for the whole community.
What does Beacon of Light need to reach more students?
Today, we are looking for strategic partners to help us launch into the future. The current startup capital needed is $275,000 which will support the pilot in its current beta form and produce our final product that will be ready for districts to purchase for a fraction of the cost of textbooks, in August 2023. We need foundational investors who can see the vision and help us make it a reality. Beacon of Light exists for this moment, to bring change to our future by equipping teens today for our healthiest tomorrow. We invite you to partner with us to change the narrative, because, “Sex IS a Big Deal.”
Why should I support Beacon of Light?
With more than 20 years of experience, Beacon of Light is one of the oldest non-profits in Orange County providing prevention education for vulnerable youth and their families. Beacon of Light has an amazing opportunity to combine our efforts with Check the Facts to scale across California to provide more youth with education on pregnancy prevention, HIV/STDs and other California state-complaint topics than we ever thought possible. Reaching our goal of 67% more students by 2028, we will be impacting over 112,000 lives.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, January 25). CDC estimates 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a sexually transmitted infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 7, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0125-sexualy-transmitted-infection.html 2. |bid 3. Schleifer, J. J., About the Author: Justin J. Schleifer, Author:, A. the, Paccione-Dyszlewski, M. R., Marini, G. M., & Dalomba, F. (2021, August 24). What is sexting and is it common among teens? Lifespan. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://www.lifespan.org/lifespan-living/what-sexting-and-it-common-among-teens 4. Fight the New Drug. (n.d.). This in-depth wall street journal article highlights porn's harms on Teen Brains. Fight the New Drug. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://fightthenewdrug.org/this-in-depth-wall-street-journal-article-highlights-porns-harms-on-teen-brains/ 5. Martellozzo, E., Monaghan, A., Adler, J.R., Davidson, J., Leyva, R., & Horvath, M.A.H. (2016). ‘I wasn’t sure it was normal to watch it’. A quantitative and qualitative examination of the impact of online pornography on the values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of children and young people. London: Middlesex University. NSPCC. Retrieved from https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/media/1187/mdx-nspcc-occ-pornography-report.pdf 6. The what, why & how of TDVAM. love is respect. (2020, September 25). Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/the-what-why-and-how-of-tdvam/ 7. https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/default.htm 8. Hallfors DD, Waller MW, Ford CA, Halpern CT, Brodish PH, Iritani B. Adolescent depression and suicide risk: association with sex and drug behavior. Am J Prev Med. 2004;27(3):224-31. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2004.06.001 9. Coleman, P. (2011). Abortion and mental health: Quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995–2009. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(3), 180-186. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.110.077230 10. United States, High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2021
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