The stated goal of A Step Ahead Foundation is to help Shelby County women get a step ahead in life by enabling them to plan their lives and plan their families. We aim to ensure that teens and women have access to the most effective contraceptives: long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs), which are proven to be over 99% effective in preventing pregnancies, at no cost to the client. Additional goals are to help ensure that women and teens are able to access LARCs at community clinics where the vast majority of our clients already receive their primary health care, and to help ensure that an adequate number of medical professionals at community and private clinics are trained and willing to provide the clinical services needed to ensure prompt, hassle-free access.

By enabling women to have access and knowledge regarding long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC), Shelby County women can achieve their full potential—educationally, economically, and in their family lives. Our long-term objectives include decreasing rates of teen pregnancy, school dropout, unemployment, and poverty.

Needs Statement

  • Over 50% of teens who have a baby while still in high school will not graduate or even have their GED by the time they are 22 years of age.  

  • Over 50% of teen mothers will also have another baby within 24 months, thus almost guaranteeing a life of poverty for her children and for herself.  

  • For Shelby County, those actual numbers are: 1,802 teen births in 2011, with over 901 new mothers having another child within 24 months.