Believe in West Virginia is made up of local residents who are concerned for the youth of our state.
We agree with Truett Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, who said, "It's easier to build boys and girls than to mend men and women."
So when there is a problem affecting our kids, we need to act together as a community by helping to encourage and educate them, which will hopefully allow our young people to make wise moral choices.
There are certain issues that need special attention, and our organization believes that teenage sexual activity is one of those issues.
As you may have seen recently, Believe in West Virginia sponsored a guest speaker to speak at a couple of local high schools on the subject of teenage sexual activity.
The speaker we helped bring in, Pam Stenzel, gives presentations to over 500,000 students a year on the topic of sexual abstinence and the potential costs of being sexually active.
While sex among high school-aged students is not a new problem, in West Virginia it is continually becoming more of one.
In 2009, West Virginia was the only state in the entire country that showed an increase in teen pregnancy, as reported in the Gazette-Mail. In 2012, West Virginia ranks in the top 10 states for teenage pregnancy, according to United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings website.
Teen pregnancy isn't the only challenging outcome from sexual activity among high school students. Many students contract sexually transmitted diseases that they could carry for the rest of their lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of US high school students have had sexual intercourse, and almost 10 million people who contract a new STD each year are between the ages of 15-24.