Teens create PSAs to highlight teen pregnancy, violence

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's said time and time again among teens.  They’re statements like, "It won't happen to me," or "I don't need to use protection."

In reality, those misconceptions often lead to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, but one group is working to change the dialogue.

To kick off Prevent Teen Pregnancy month, members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee created public service announcements to "Spread the Word" about the serious health and social issues among youth today.

The videos depict real-life situations including pregnancy, STDs, violence and bullying, which were written and created by teens.

“So that from a peer point of view, they can understand it more.  They can learn from it.  It's all about protecting yourself,” said PSA creator Daniel McMurtry.

This is the second year of the “Spread the Word” campaign.  Last year, the teens made 9 YouTube videos.  This year, they made 14, which were presented to area students on Thursday.

“We really want people to walk away feeling empowered to make better choices in life and be their own agent for their personal health,” said Sarah Tyree-Francis from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Milwaukee's teen birthrate was the 2nd highest in the nation less than a decade ago.  According to the Health Department, it has dropped 5 straight years to a new historic low.  In 2011, there were 33.4 births per 1,000 girls between ages 15 and 17.

Teens like McMurtry, however, are trying to lower that statistic.

“My cousin was a 13-year-old girl and she was pregnant, sad to say,” he said.

Through the videos, they hope to encourage others to be responsible in order to prevent life-changing situations.

Last year, the Boys and Girls Clubs PSAs were aired at the Milwaukee Film Festival.  The hope is to air them on public access TV.

If you'd like to check the videos out yourself, they're on the group's YouTube and Facebook pages.