10th Graders at Lincoln HS, Jersey City I liked that everything was straight-forward. I feel like everything that was talked about was serious and real. I really like how open our conversations were. No dead space. It’s teaching me the things I don’t know and information I can take into consideration when I’m in these situations. One thing I learned and I found interesting is the difference between mature and immature love. Yes (I liked the program), because school doesn’t really talk about these types of things. It was very eye-opening hearing what happened with teens who had sex so early in [...]
On August 14, 2018, Julie Edwards, regional Free Teens club coordinator, spoke to the Camden City Council which recognized the work of Free Teens USA (Institute for Relationship Intelligence) for its educational programs for youth for developing “leadership skills, healthy relationships and sexual risk avoidance.” In the group photo: Julie Edwards (black t-shirt) From left: Sabreen Pitts, coordinator of the new Free Teens club in Camden, club member Daneazha Lee in middle with her mother Victoria Simmons behind her, and Councilman-at-large Angel Fuentes.
As a school counselor for Jersey City and a mental health clinician for several counties, I believe that the best way to help someone make the best decision for themselves is to provide them with as much information as possible. Too often, people will make life-changing decisions without weighing the pros and cons of the situations or even knowing what other options there could be for them out there. Our adolescents are constantly being bombarded with different messages and suggestions of how to be cool and respected by their peers but not by their own standards and definitely not how [...]
The Paterson Youth Council and the mayor of Paterson bestowed Khadija Moody with the Youth Recognition Award, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., on January 19, 2015, for her volunteer work, community service, academic accomplishments, and her involvement with Free Teens of Paterson along with other notable organizations. The following is an essay she wrote regarding her experiences with Free Teens: “What I’ve Learned from Free Teens” Khadijah Moody, 14, 9th grader at Eastside HS Why do I choose to be a Free Teen? Well, why not? Free Teens is a network of support that I can always rely on. They are always [...]
We at the Institute for Relationship Intelligence have put together this new website in preparation for the upcoming academic school year! The slogan behind the design of this website is "Choose To Be Free," which was inspired by our mission statement, with an emphasis upon empowering our members to lead happy lives and successful futures. The "Powerful Teens" section is an informational section filled with videos, articles, media, and books that will help our members look introspectively to see how they can grow as individuals. The "Teens Talk" section will feature the statements, questions, and writings of our members that [...]
Here is a question: why do some teens and young adults turn to illegal drugs & premature sex, despite all the known risks associated with these self-destructive behaviors? Some may not really understand the risks, or think that, since the risks are not always immediate, that they will escape those consequences. In effect, they think they are invincible, at least for now… Many adolescent education programs suggest that people turn to illegal drugs & premature sex because of peer pressure, “because they want to be liked, to fit in, or because they worry that other kids might make fun of [...]