Neil Cole – It’s About Reality

The Candie’s Foundation helped place the issue of teen pregnancy at the top of the national conversation back in 2001.

Neil Cole writes here about The Candie’s Foundation and the thought process and the desire to tap into “the voice of a teen mom who has a platform” so that “the issue of teen pregnancy has been propelled into the national dialogue with striking force.”

Back in 2001, The Candie’s Foundation continued its efforts to raise awareness and educate young people about the perils and hardships of teen pregnancy.

Neil Cole, The Candie’s Foundation founder and chairman, appeared on “Good Morning America” and “Today” to boost a multi-media campaign (PSAs in TV and print) for the prevention of teenage pregnancy.

The ads feature Bristol Palin, The Foundation’s ambassaador and daughter of former VP candidate Sarah Palin, who appears with her son, Tripp.

Palin opened up about the difficulties she had faced- and continued to face- as a teenage mom at that time. The spots were aired that year in May as part of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.

Palin released a statement saying:

“I believe that people need to start talking about the consequences of teen pregnancy. Being a single teen mom has affected every aspect of my life. I am providing for another person and doing everything for him. I am constantly juggling, and it is extremely difficult. Teens need to understand the realities of being a teenage parent.”

Cole initiated The Candie’s Foundation in order to start a dialogue in advance of teens making hard decisions about unwanted – or unplanned – pregnancies.

“The main goal of The Candie’s Foundation is to educate teens about the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy,”

Neil Cole stated in a press release.

“Each year nearly 750,000 teens become pregnant. The numbers are staggering, and it is a national epidemic. By drawing attention to the issue and starting a dialogue between teens and parents, we can reduce this number and prevent teens from becoming [statistics].”