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"What's It Worth?" for Teenagers to Have HIV Awareness?
From a News Release
2010-09-28

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The Red Pump Project announces their first annual "What's It Worth?" Essay Contest

CHICAGO, IL - In 2006, teen girls represented 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13-19 year olds. Faced with these statistics, The Red Pump Project is announcing the "What's It Worth?" Essay and Scholarship Contest. Red Pump invites Chicago-area junior and senior high school girls to submit essays discussing how an HIV positive diagnosis would affect their future goals.

The "What's It Worth?" contest promotes HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, and individual responsibility, while marking the official launch of Red Pump's "What's It Worth?" program. Designed to provide an open forum for young girls to discuss matters of sexual health, the platform will offer various events and programs for this audience.

Red Pump co-founder Karyn Watkins explains, "We can't address risky sexual behavior in our youth without acknowledging the challenges that they face on a daily basis. By asking teens if this behavior is worth risking their future goals, we're encouraging them to place safe sexual activity on the same level as other building blocks to success such as studying and getting good grades."

Teenage girls interested in entering the contest are asked to submit a 500 — 750 word response to the topic: "Reflect back to a time when you made a decision without thinking about the consequences. What impact did it have on your life? Expand on this moment by discussing how an HIV diagnosis would affect your future goals."

In addition to essays, contestants will also be able to enter creative expressions, such as artwork and spoken word ( poetry or rap ) . Three winners will be chosen to receive scholarship prizes of $500, $350, and $250. They, along with seven other finalists, will also model in Red Pump's second annual "Rock the Red" fashion show in March 2011.

Entries for "What's It Worth?" will be accepted from October 11 through December 1, 2010; winners will be announced in mid-January 2011. Essay entry forms will be available for download at TheRedPumpProject.com .

On Sunday, October 10, 2010, The Red Pump Project will host Let's Have a Bowl! a kick-off party for What's It Worth?. The event will be held from 7:00pm - 10:00pm at the MLK Entertainment Center, 1219 W. 76th Street, Chicago, Illinois. For more info about Let's Have a Bowl! and upcoming "What's It Worth?" events, please visit: whatsitworth2010.eventbrite.com .


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