My son Sid was born when I was just 16 years old. Not that I would trade him for anything in the world, I just wish he had been gifted to me a little later in life. The community I now live in has a high teen pregnancy rate and with 3 teens in my family, encouraging abstinence is something I am very passionate about. No wonder I immediately gravitated toward Arline Saiki, my Women Who Shine nominee.
Arline is a Certified Abstinence Educator and Director of AEC – I Decide, a ministry whose mission is to reduce high risk behaviors and encourage abstinence before marriage. As an Abstinence Educator, Arline teaches teens about good character, life skills, goal-setting, and to make healthy choices for themselves.
“According to the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility), 10 out of 11 studies have found that character education increases the likelihood of abstinence until marriage by 90%.”
Her organization also offers programs on character to younger kids (from age 8) with the aim of reducing all high risk behaviors from smoking, drugs, alcohol, bullying, and promiscuity to eating disorders; as well as to mothers, including single moms. The AEC faces many challenges: lack of funding; lack of sufficient volunteers; antagonism from certain areas of the community, and apathy among many of the parents. They have also had many great successes. The Yahoo! Shine $10,000 prize would tremendously aid Arline and her organization in reaching more at risk youths.
Arline is a wife and mother of two girls. She has worked with kids in both the music ministry and Girl Scouts. Arline is also active in her church, and has been teaching religious ed for many years. She has been director of the AEC – I Decide ministry since 2005.
Women Who Shine
Yahoo! Shine wants to celebrate women who are blazing new trails, making a difference, and doing extraordinary things. Help give these inspiring women the recognition they deserve by nominating them for Women Who Shine. The woman who receives the most votes by the end of the program will win a $10,000 cash prize. If you know a woman who sines feel free to nominate her.
I am truly inspired by Arline Saiki and the work that she does. I hope that you are too! I would really appreciate if you could take just a moment to vote for her. Who’s inspired you lately?
Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.