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Youth Making Some Noise!





Teenworks is Teamwork
A report from the annual teenworks conference
Author: Serafin Villanueva, Christina Bustamante





The teenagers were surprised when they saw Mr. Woody, 
and they were even more surprised when Alejandra 
demonstrated how to correctly put a condom on Mr. 
Woody. Mr. Woody, an imitation penis, made our 
workshop, “Sex: The Hot Topic”, a big success with 
teenagers at the Teenworks Conference in Anaheim, 
California. 

The Teenworks conference was a gathering of teenagers 
from different counties in California who were 
associated with the Friday Night Live crew. Six of us 
were invited to participate from the PSI Watsonville 
program. Most of the groups gave presentations on 
issues facing their communities. 

In Sex: The Hot Topic, we talked about the facts about 
STD’s, pregnancy, prevention, and how to put a condom 
on. We told attendees that in 2003, 358 teenager girls 
gave birth in Santa Cruz County and 305 (85%) of them 
were from Watsonville. We taught that one in four 
sexually active teens will get a sexually transmitted 
disease during adolescence. 

The second presentation our group gave was “Nutrition: 
Staying Fit,” which taught how to make healthy eating 
choices. It also educated people how much fat are in 
junk food. In the game “Guess the Goop,” we taught 
that 25 teaspoons of sugar are in a 32-ounce can of 
soda and 17 grams of fat are in a double cheeseburger, 
large fries and a chocolate milkshake.

Although Serafin was caught in an elevator for forty-
five minutes with twenty other people, he did finally 
get out safely and returned to the Teenworks 
conference. Besides learning that elevators aren’t the 
safest things to ride, we learned that we as teenagers 
can change our community by making the right 
decisions, by setting an example for younger people. 
We returned from the Teenworks conference with a 
better understand of the problems happing in our 
community as well as the other communities in 
California. 

Not only did we give presentations, but we also 
attended other presentations and learned about binge 
drinking, tobacco, HIV/AIDS, teenage violence. We 
learned about two teenagers who helped to pass 
legislation to ban the sale of gun ammunition in the 
city of Los Angeles. We learned that binge drinking 
can kill the drinker and other people. We learned 
about the numerous chemicals in cigarettes.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for our teens to be 
exposed to other teens who were out there trying to 
make change, and also to give them a chance to shine 
and be the Peer Educators they strive to be,” said 
Mayana Lea, the Teen Advocacy Program Intern who 
accompanied us on the trip. “We look forward to 
returning to L.A. next year.”