In July 2015, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) awarded 84 Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program grants. One of the grants funds Delta Health Alliance, a non-profit organization with extensive experience implementing large-scale programs that address risky health behaviors in youth. With this grant, the organization will implement the Delta Futures Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in all 18 counties of the Mississippi Delta, covering 21,000 square miles.
- In 2015, Delta Health Alliance was awarded a grant from the HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program for the Delta Futures Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (Delta Futures).
- Delta Futures implements four evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs in middle schools and high schools and within community and clinical settings: Draw the Line/Respect the Line, Making Proud Choices, Promoting Health Among Teens-Abstinence Only, and Reducing the Risk.
- The Delta Health Alliance coordinates a Community Advisory Group and Youth Leadership Group to serve as advisers to the project, capture the voice of youth and to increase partnerships throughout the communities they serve.
About the Delta Health Alliance’s Delta Futures Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
Delta Futures works in a very rural and high-needs area of Mississippi known as the Mississippi Delta. This area faces unique challenges, including an average unemployment rate of 11 percent and poverty rate of 35 percent. In addition, 25 percent of the community’s residents lack basic literacy skills, 35 percent live below the poverty rate, and only seven in 10 individuals graduate from high school.
In nine public school districts, Delta Futures implements evidence-based, medically accurate curricula that are sensitive to the cultural needs of the population it reaches. They work closely with a Community Advisory Group and Youth Leadership Group, which not only advise the project, but also help recruit more organizations and youth to the program. Delta Futures provides safe and supportive environments and positive youth development and trauma-informed services for its participants as well as linkages to services at five Rural Health Clinics. It reaches young people in middle and high schools, youth-serving community organizations, faith-based organizations, and clinics throughout the Mississippi Delta.
“I have learned ways to get out of risky sexual situations when they occur. I also have learned information about STIs I didn’t previously know.”
— Delta Futures student
The goal of the project is to:
- Reduce the rates of teen pregnancies by 10 percent and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by 20 percent;
- Increase and improve health care linkages for youth; and
- Increase condom use by 30 percent.
Why it Matters
OAH’s funding for Delta Futures is an investment in reducing the rates of teen pregnancy. The work that Delta Futures does:
- Addresses an area with one of the nation’s highest teen birth rates. The state of Mississippi is ranked third highest in the nation for teen birth rates. Within the state, the Mississippi Delta is among the highest rates with some areas having twice as many teen births as compared to the state average and three times as many as the U.S. national average.
- Serves youth in rural communities, where the teen birth rates are persistently high. Mississippi’s high teen birth rate continues to decline at a slower pace than other parts of the country, and remains higher in rural counties than in its urban counties. Delta Futures is serving youth with the greatest need by delivering rural areas with evidence-based programming in safe and supportive environments, in trauma-informed ways, and with linkages and referrals to a wide range of youth-friendly health care services.
- Works to improve outcomes for the youth in the areas served. By working to prevent teen pregnancy, Delta Futures also positively impacts other social outcomes, such as increasing educational attainment, improving child wellbeing, and reducing poverty.
Delta Futures Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program By the Numbers
- National Teen Birth Rate (2015): 22 per 1,000 females ages 15-19
- Mississippi Teen Birth Rate (2015): 34.8 per 1,000 females ages 15-19
- Mississippi Delta Teen Birth Rate (2014*): 32 to 78.8 per 1,000 females ages 15-19
* reflects the most recent year for which data are available.
Grantee Contact Information:
Project Director, Delta Futures Teen Pregnancy Prevention program