Thelma Jones and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at the awards ceremony. An unidentified Secret Service agent watches in the background. (Photo: Perry Klein)

Southwest civic leader Thelma D. Jones received the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy “Standing in the Gap Award” at its recent Annual Celebrity Auction at the Arnold and Porter scenic venue. Jones was recognized for her outstanding volunteer service with the organization since the early 2000s. In praising Jones’ long-standing commitment to the organization, DC Campaign Executive Director Brenda R. Miller said:  “She is a remarkable woman and an extraordinary volunteer.” DC Campaign’s most treasured “Standing in the Gap Award” draws its inspiration from the book of Ezekiel, Chapter 22:30 which says: “And I sought for someone among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap….”

Trained as a parent peer educator, Jones has co-facilitated dozens of workshops on “How to Talk to Teens About Love, Sex and Relationships” in various nonprofit settings throughout the city, reaching more than 125 parents, including teen moms. In addition, she has facilitated a host of trainings with various hospital medical staff on the importance of communicating with teens in a culturally competent and sensitive manner to help ensure optimal care and follow-up. Seeking to increase greater awareness and funding for the organization on a global level, Jones was instrumental in ensuring that DC Campaign was included as part of the World Bank’s workplace giving efforts, enabling the organization to receive hundreds of dollars. She has also helped to advocate for teen pregnancy on a national level by participating in briefings on Capitol Hill with DC Campaign Youth Leadership Task Force and has written articles in The Southwester, among other publications, over the years about DC Campaign’s teen pregnancy efforts and the outstanding work of DC Campaign’s Youth Leadership Task Force. Jones continues to identify ways of changing the conversation on teen pregnancy and is looking forward to participating in DC Campaign’s “Take a Step to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Walk and Rally” on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Jones invites her fellow Southwest residents, including teenagers, to save the date and join her as she continues to change the conversation and to help make teen pregnancy a thing of the past.

DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was founded in 1999 with the mission of cutting the city’s teen pregnancy rate in half. In 2005, DC Campaign not only met but also exceeded its original goal. Today, with the support of many organizations and dedicated individuals like Thelma D. Jones, DC Campaign is focused on cutting the teen pregnancy rate in half again no later than 2015.

By The Southwester Staff.

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