A lot of people come of age thinking about the day they start their family. Babysitting, spending time with nieces or nephews, and supporting friends with children give some insight to the time when that life altering decision is made. The part nobody talks about? 49% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned. That number's 80% for young women under 19. The magic moment where a woman decides to bring a life into the world just doesn't happen half the time, limiting those women's opportunity for greater educational attainment and higher earnings with it. 

A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga has been working in our area for two years to facilitate access to free, long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for women with the fewest barriers possible—that means assistance setting appointments, free transportation to a healthcare provider, and payment for the LARC of her choice. To further their reach and to help ensure the three groups identified as most at risk: single women, black women, and women with less education or income, are educated and empowered about their reproductive choices, A Step Ahead will be hiring community ambassadors. Their $1500 grant will provide training for 10 women of color to spend 150 hours in their own communities advocating for more dependable birth control options in settings ranging from health fairs to one-on-one counseling. With birth control that allows women to really plan for their families, we'll have healthier babies and a more equitable future for our city.