Sponsored - After working in public service for almost thirty years, Claudia Haltom became intimately familiar with the needs of her community. As a juvenile court magistrate, it was clear that many of these needs were being overlooked. Most notably, preventing teen pregnancy.
“What began as the desire to make sure the young women who appeared in my courtroom were aware of all their contraceptive options led to the realization that it wasn’t just them,” Haltom said.
In an effort to leave a lasting impact on the community around her, Haltom set out to help women achieve personal success through increased access to education, programming, and contraceptives. It was then that A Step Ahead Foundation was born.
In creating her nonprofit, Haltom wanted to make sure that women from all walks of life were aware of their options, that providers were trained on all birth control methods, and finally, that there were no barriers to accessing the resources young women needed to plan their lives on their terms.
“Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the Implant are the most effective forms of birth control,” Haltom remarked. “However, they are also, by far, the most expensive. I realized that simply making sure women knew about their options was not enough. I needed to make sure that if they wanted one of these methods, they could get them, whether they could afford it or not.”
“We pay for multiple methods of contraception, as well as transportation. All associated costs, including removals, are covered. A Step Ahead clients can have their birth control removed at any time, no questions asked, as long as we covered it originally.”
Haltom also understood that if the community was not aware of what was available, they could not make informed decisions about their health and well-being. With this in mind, A Step Ahead has partnered with over 100 organizations to educate people about the importance of planning a family as well as topics such as self-esteem, hygiene, and consent, to name a few.
Most importantly, what A Step Ahead is doing is working.
“Over the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic decline in teen pregnancy in Shelby County according to state public health metrics. Abortions have dropped by one-third and Shelby County Schools’s data indicates that graduation rates are improving. Many people have been and continue to work towards improving health care access in our community, but I believe that A Step Ahead Foundation started the conversation regarding birth control,” Haltom explained.
A Step Ahead Foundation is completely funded by donors like you. When you donate to A Step Ahead Foundation, you’re playing a vital role in tackling our community’s most pressing needs.
To donate, visit AStepAheadFoundation.org today.