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Perspectives Middle Academy Takes on State Capitol

Perspectives Middle Academy (PMA) Students with Secretary of State, Jesse White

Kimesha Mosely

Many children in poverty stricken communities do not have access to health care, or may not be aware of resources that are available to them. On Wednesday, March 28th students from Perspective Middle Academy joined other schools and organizations from around Illinois to rally and advocate for School Based Health Centers. Youth Advocacy day enabled students to advocate on behalf of School Health Centers and other adolescent health initiatives, who provide youth in grades 6-12 with comprehensive, medically accurate, and age appropriate sexual health education. Students from Perspective Middle Academy are aware of the importance of having a School Based Health Center. They understand how this resource helps them to succeed academically, by helping them to stay healthy and educating them on not just sexual health, but mental and general health. One sixth grade scholar, who participated in a state wide essay competition about School Based Health Centers, won first place for explaining why the Access Health Center is so important to her. Linda Taylor was also among the 14 teen scholars to attend the Springfield trip.

While in Springfield, students were able to speak with State Legislators, both Representatives and Senators and ask for their support in passing HB3027, a Health Care Bill that would ensure all schools; grades 6-12 to have comprehensive, age appropriate sexual education classes; with an opt out option for parents who do not want their child to participate in these classes. Also students were able to tell Legislators how important it was to have a School Based Health Center and share their thoughts, concerns and concerns about what they want and need in their communities.

The trip to Springfield not only brought a new experience to the students, but it allowed them to see how things work at the State Capitol and gain information on how people make laws that governs their everyday life.