Maloney Delivers for Teens, Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens
WASHINGTON: The U.S. House or Representatives passed an $80,000 appropriation today for the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, Inc. and its T.E.E.N. Society Program, a pregnancy prevention initiative for teenagers. The appropriation was voted on as part of the fiscal year 2002 Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations conference report. After the Senate votes on the conference report, the President is expected to sign the legislation into law.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (Queens, Manhattan), who advocated for the funds originally and wrote numerous letters to Congressional appropriators on behalf of the Variety Boys and Girls Club, said, "It's just great to see a proven program receive the recognition and support that it deserves. The T.E.E.N. Society Program is a tremendous success with fewer than two percent of female teen participants becoming pregnant annually, versus 22 percent of girls in many of the most at-risk communities. Teenagers finish the program armed with the confidence, knowledge and personal skills to help them break out of poverty without the burden of teen parenthood. The support for this program shown in Congress today was very much the right thing to do. I particularly thank my colleagues in the New York delegation for supporting this appropriation."
The T.E.E.N. Society Program's approach to pregnancy prevention encourages abstinence and involves a comprehensive blend of regular healthcare, counseling, educational services, sports, self-expression training, family life/sex education, and job assistance. The staff at Variety Boys & Girls Club, Inc. is trained to develop strong mentor relationships with participants. Ultimately participants learn to view life more positively.
Built in 1955, the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, Inc. (the "Club") was developed to help eliminate the overwhelming gang problem in Western Queens. Since then, the Club has successfully offered after-school and summer programs to 800 youths annually. Club membership is open to boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 17. The Club provides youth programs in personal & educational development, citizenship & leadership development, cultural enrichment, health & physical education, and social recreation.
The T.E.E.N. Society program involves young people in discussions and role-playing, practicing resistance and refusal skills, developing assertiveness, strengthening decision-making skills and analyzing media and peer influence. The ultimate goal is to promote abstinence from substance abuse and adolescent sexual involvement through the practice of responsible behavior.