RN, Teen Pregnancy Prevention/Adolescent Health Educator Beckham, Tillman, Jackson, Harmon, Greer & Roger Mills Counties
5 years of service
Got any favorite quotes?
“Brave people don’t stop hearing the whispers of fear. They hear the whispers but take action anyway”- Annie Downs
Who inspires you?
My students. They make me love my job. I always look forward to the days I am in the schools because I get to see them and positively influence them at such an important time in their lives. It’s amazing how much a smile and encouraging word can turn their day around. A small part of my job consists of providing this education, a large part of my job is being a positive influence and a listening ear for these kids. Showing up to their ballgames or events they are involved in makes a huge difference when I am in the classroom the following day.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had in public health?
I love working in small communities because I will always run into my students around town, no matter what town I happen to be in. I love when they run up to me and say “Miss Brittney, thank you for teaching us that important stuff even though it made us uncomfortable at the time.” Being able to develop bonds with the students that I teach, it’s so rewarding to watch them achieve their goals that I remember them writing down the first day of class. I just watched my first classes that I taught five years ago, graduate from high school this past May and that was really neat.
How did you start working in public health?
I started working in public health five years ago when the position came open in my area for a teen pregnancy prevention coordinator.
Can you share a few highlights of your experience in public health in Oklahoma?
Watching the numbers for teen pregnancy decrease in my areas over the past five years, knowing that I had a big part in that is pretty humbling.
In your role, how do you educate people about public health?
I mainly teach two curriculums—Making a Difference, which is abstinence-based; and Making Proud Choices, which is prevention-based. I go into the classroom and provide these once a week for eight weeks to multiple schools at a time. I may have four schools going at once where I am I providing this education. Making a Difference is presented to 7th-9th grades and Making Proud Choices is presented to 9th-12th grades.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
I think the most difficult part of my job, knowing how hard the job of raising children is myself, is knowing that some of my students will still end up being teen parents and having to watch them struggle even harder to reach their goals in life. Being around these kids day in and day out, you start to develop bonds with them and it’s just like your own kids—you hate to see them struggle.
If someone was interested in a public health career, what advice or encouragement would you give them?
Public health is very rewarding and you will never regret entering the job field if this is something that you are passionate about. I not only get to engage with students every day, but also having a part in coalitions and improving the communities around me where multiple age groups are affected is an added bonus.