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Teen Health Summit 2024 Empowers and Informs CMSD High School Students

CMSD News Bureau


CMSD scholars from four high schools gathered to engage in a candid and enlightening conversation about teen sexuality at the 2024 Teen Health Summit. The event provided a safe and open platform for students to explore this critical topic with the help of experts from the Cleveland Department of Public Health and the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. 

The atmosphere was one of intense focus as the behavioral health professionals delved into a range of topics, from relationships and STI prevention to contraceptives. Arnetta Matthews, Director of Education Outreach for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, explained the importance of creating a space for these discussions: "We welcome the opportunity to have conversations with young people that generally are not talked about. Providing them with a safe space to talk and get the professional facts they need helps to empower them moving on into their adult lives." 

Students focus in on questions during the on-line survey at the Teen Summit.

Throughout the summit, students were presented with national and local teen health data, encouraging them to think critically about the social issues that affect their lives. They also had the opportunity to participate in group dialog sessions, sharing their perspectives and learning from their peers. 

In addition to the informative sessions, the summit provided STI screenings and hosted an engaging conversation about sexual and reproductive health. Keana Pounds, a John F. Kennedy High School senior, reflected on the experience: "I was shocked at some of the questions and conversations, but I understand why they asked deep questions; it helps us get a better look on life." 


Students of John F. Kennedy High School participated in healthy conversations during the summit.

The CMSD Responsible Sexual Behavior Department, led by Program Manager Sharon Stevens, is dedicated to providing age-appropriate, medically accurate, and comprehensive sexual health education. "The purpose of the Summit is to provide awareness and education about the importance of adolescent reproductive health," Stevens said. "Our school-based programs are designed to empower students to make informed decisions about their sexual health and emotional well-being, and we encourage them to seek out healthy relationships along the way." 

The Teen Health Summit was an important event that provided CMSD scholars with the knowledge, resources, and support they need to navigate the complex landscape of teen sexuality. With a focus on empowerment and education, the summit is just one example of CMSD's ongoing commitment to promoting the health and well-being of its students.