Thanking One's Lucky Stars

"Whoopee” is what Lowndes County Teen Center workers are saying about the $150,000 surprise given to them by state leaders.

Georgia's Teen Centers focus on combating the Peach State's high pregnancy rate. County officials are saying the center gives teens an option when the adolescents are contemplating sex.

Percy Chastang, youth and health coordinator, says, "Some children are more willing or open to speak with their parents and others may be fearful in a sense. The clinic offers them that opportunity to come and speak with some adults concerning the right way or right choices they need to make."

Michelle Ewing, a nurse at the Teen Center, says she would have been devastated if the clinic closed and she lost touch with her young patients.

Michelle says, "You become very close with your patients and it's inspiring to me to see how much they have grown and see how these kids aren't statistics. They aren't one of the kids that are pregnant or have dropped out of school."

Center employees say the clinic is taking a new approach with the money.

Annette Davis, a Teen Center counselor, says, "The parents will be more involved. We'll have parents on advisory boards. That's a good thing for them to get involved with their children and have input."

This isn't the first time the center has faced an uncertain future; state budget cuts continually threaten their existence, but for now they have the money they need.