I was honored to attend the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Dr. Michael Carrera’s Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program. It was held on September 30, 2009 at the Harvard Club of New York City and attended by family, friends, industry colleagues, program graduates and supporters.
Dr. Carrera started his work in the field back in the 1960’s when discussion of teen sexual activity and health was taboo. Dr. Carrera continues to break new ground – over the past 25 years he has created a program that gives teens the tools they need to succeed on so many levels including pregnancy prevention. And he’s brought parents into the conversation with teens – a small miracle in itself. One of the most quoted lines in all his APPP materials is that we don’t prevent teen pregnancy – they do.
As a testament to his work, Gara LaMarche from The Atlantic Philanthropies spoke about Dr. Carrera’s work over his career and his perseverance, “he’s been able to show…through political ups and downs and different administrations – some which were hostile and some of which have been supportive – how important this work is, and how effective it is.”
Casper Lassiter, a graduate of the program and who now works with teens as director of our Dunlevy Milbank Center, spoke about his initial experience with the program as a 14-year-old. “The first meeting, it was so passionate, he was so genuine – you can’t fool teenagers, they see right through you, and all we saw was that you cared about us, you loved us and you wanted us to succeed.” And succeed they did – hats off to Dr. Carrera!
Kathy de Meij, Associate Director of Development, Director of Marketing & Special Events