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Wise Guys – Community Partner Spotlight

Tony Casas of the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina teaches High School students male responsibility as part of the Wise Guys program.
(Chris English/Tigermoth Creative)

Wise Guys® is an 8-12 session evidence-based program for young men (age 12-17) which stresses a positive concept of masculinity, responsible behavior in relationships, and healthy decision-making. The curriculum covers masculinity, values, goal setting, communication, healthy relationships, dating violence, sexually transmitted infections, reproductive anatomy, pregnancy, contraception, abstinence, and teen fatherhood. Trained educators present the curriculum and administer pre-tests, post-tests and 6-month follow-ups. Instructional methods are designed for the learning styles of young men, and thus include open-ended questions and discussion, hands-on activities, physical movement, skill practice, teamwork, and homework assignments involving parental communication.

The curriculum, developed in 1990, was the first teen pregnancy prevention curriculum targeted for young men. It is widely recognized across the state and the country, serving more than 1,100 boys in 10 states outside of North Carolina during the past year. Preventing teen pregnancy and improving attitudes towards sexual health means that more teens will finish high school, have higher levels of more gainful employment and ultimately develop more stable families and healthier family relationships.

An award-winning program of national scope, Wise Guys has been listed by the NC School Health Training Center as an approved curriculum for NC’s Healthy Youth Act (House Bill 88), and has been approved for funding and replication by the NC Department of Health and Human Services. The program received the Award for Education from the Office of Family Planning in 2007, and the Wellness Award from the Moses Cone-Wesley Long Community Health Foundation in 2009.

Here in Alamance County the program is having great success!

High School students take part in the Wise Guys program a male responsibility curriculum by the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina on Friday, May 3, 2019.
(Chris English/Tigermoth Creative)

On the last day of class at Graham Middle School, one of the students, Jorge, approached the educator to say goodbye. Jorge shared the he was really glad to have been a part of the Wise Guys program, as he learned very important information related to pregnancy and STIs. Further, he shared that, prior to the program, he had felt pressured to participate in activities for which he was not ready. However, now that he has participated in the program, he and his girlfriend have decided to wait until they are both ready, at which time they will be far better prepared.

The Wise Guys program collaborates with Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, Burlington Housing Authority, Positive Attitude Youth Center, Graham Middle School, Woodlawn Middle School, Elon Academy, Hawfields Middle School, Turrentine Middle School, Broadview Middle School, Graham Middle School, and Western Alamance Middle School.

“As of January 2019, the Wise Guys program has served 1,216 adolescent boys and 57 parents under the North Carolina Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative grant which began on June 1, 2017. The grant has provided additional funding to support the provision of the Wise Guys program in Alamance County. This opportunity has allowed the current educator to work full-time and continue to increase the number of youth served over the next three years. The state funding would not have been possible without the continued support of the United Way of Alamance County, which provides the critical local match for the state funding, thus leveraging additional funds and service for the community,” explained Christine Byrd, Director of Grants Management for Children’s Home Society.

Stories like this show how important the Community Fund is at United Way of Alamance County.

United Way of Alamance County works to bring organizations, donors, and volunteers together to align efforts for the most significant impact. By uniting resources to meet focused goals, our community will thrive.

To join us in this important work, please support our Community Fund with a donation!