Believe in Youth Louisiana (BY-LA)

Believe in Youth

Louisiana (BYLA) is a program of the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) that aims to reduce the rates of teen pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs among adolescents in Southeast Louisiana.


Goal: Utilize a trauma-informed approach to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy, birth rates, HIV and other STIs among adolescents ages 11-19, in Louisiana Region 1 (Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes), Region 2 (Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes) and Region 3 (St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, St. James, Assumption, St. Mary, Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes). Program Overview: BY-LA is designed to reach at least 4,000 youth ages 11-19 annually. BY-LA is derally funded by the Office of Adolescent Health and utilizes the evidence-based intervention Making Proud Choices! Youth also receive four IWES-developed emotional wellness modules designed to help youth understand stress, develop positive coping mechanisms, and make connections between emotional wellness and risk behavior. The program prioritizes quality program delivery, providing safe spaces for all participants, incorporating positive youth development practices, and institutionalizing a trauma-informed approach.

Program Objectives:


Upon completion of the BY-LA program adolescents will:

  1.  Increase their knowledge about stress
  2.  Increase their knowledge of positive coping mechanisms
  3.  Increase their knowledge of pregnancy and HIV/STI prevention
  4.  Understand the value of safer sex, with an emphasis on abstinence
  5.  Improve their ability (confidence) to negotiate abstinence/safer-sex practices
  6. We are currently recruiting High School partnersfor the 2018-2019 school year!


For more information or to schedule BY-LA implementation at your school, please contact Dena Christy with Family Road of Greater Baton Rouge at 225-603-0082 or Tara Reed, Program Manager, at tyreed@iwesnola.org or (504) 599-7712.

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