27th Annual Parent Family Life & Sexuality Graduation

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On Friday, June 7, The Children's Aid Society’s Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (CAS-Carrera) held its 27th graduation ceremony for the Parent Family Life & Sexuality Education program (PFLSE) at Hunter College.

PFLSE is a multi-week workshop that encourages New York City parents to be their children’s primary source of sexuality information. Led by bilingual CAS-Carrera sexuality educators with peer support from promotores (trained community educators), PFLSE provides these parents with knowledge and strategies on how to become more actively involved in their child’s sexual development.

Dr. Michael A. Carrera, who launched CAS-Carrera in 1984, urged the graduates, family members and the Children’s Aid community to remember that the most powerful sexuality message to convey to children is unconditional love and belief in them that they are good and capable.

Every year, class valedictorians are chosen to share what they learned over the course of the program. Danny Vallecillo of the Salome Urena de Henriquez campus in Washington Heights and Melissa Gomez from the Urban Assembly Institute for Young Women in Brooklyn spoke eloquently about their participation in the program, how it has improved their views about sexuality and strengthened their overall communication with their children.

“My biggest fear in life is that my daughters take the same steps I took in becoming a teen mom,” said Ms. Gonzalez remembering her own journey. “But with this amazing program, my mind is a little bit more at ease.”

Photos by Lily Kesselman