Children’s Home Society’s Director of Wise Guys Rick Brown has been awarded the 2015 Impact Award by SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens).
The organization, previously APPCNC (Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Coalition of North Carolina), is a statewide nonprofit leading efforts to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health. It is celebrating 30 years of work in North Carolina.
The Impact Award honors an individual, organization, or collaboration that has made a significant difference in adolescent pregnancy prevention and sexual health.
“Through his work with the Wise Guys program, Rick has dedicated his career to ensuring that young men receive sex education that is inclusive and that honors their unique needs,” said Kay Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of SHIFT NC. “It has been my pleasure to know Rick for 20 years during which I have seen him continue to carry the torch for young men across the state.”
Brown has been with Children’s Home Society and Family Life Council, a predecessor organization that merged with CHS, since 1996. He has been instrumental in leading and growing Wise Guys, a teen pregnancy and dating violence prevention program for adolescent males.
The program has grown from serving 500 boys in Greensboro in 1996 to 4,300 boys in 14 counties last year.
“From evaluation of the data and interacting with the guys themselves, the program is making an impact,” Brown said. “State teen pregnancy rates are falling dramatically. In the past year alone the decline was 11 percent. As the only program focusing just on males, we’ve played a unique part in that.”
Brown has overseen the curricula development and program implementation for Wise Guys: Next Level for adult men ages 18-29, Jóvenes Sabios for Latino teen and adult males, Jóvenes Sabias for female Latino teens, Wise Guys Mentors for select at-risk males, as well as the growth of professional training related to Wise Guys.
“I am so excited that Rick’s work with the Wise Guys program is being recognized at this level. He has worked quietly and effectively to bring a strong program to adolescent boys that uses effective teaching strategies and has a lasting impact on responsible choices,” said Rebecca Starnes, Vice President of Children’s Home Society’s Family Life Education Services.