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Local PPCW Youth Named National Planned Parenthood Young Volunteer of the Year

PPFA recognizes Harrison Pride of Bend, OR

Contacts

Liz Delapoer
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette
503.775.4931 x2221
liz.delapoer@ppcw.org


Published: 05.13.08| Updated: 06.21.13

Portland, OR – Harrison Pride, a 19-year-old volunteer for Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW), recently received the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award from Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Pride accepted the award in Washington DC at the annual Affiliate Excellence and Volunteer Awards luncheon held on March 28, 2008.

Pride, a 2007 graduate of Mountain View High School, first began volunteering with PPCW’s education department in 2005. He was an integral part of PPCW’s first Teen Council Peer Education Program in Bend; in just two years with the Teen Council, he logged more than 300 volunteer service hours.

Aylett Wright, the community education and training coordinator for Planned Parenthood in Central Oregon, first met Pride five years ago when he was involved in the Making a Difference teen theater group, which works to promote discussion on adolescent issues including teen pregnancy.

“Harrison has done phenomenal work; he’s willing to take a risk and put himself out there,” said Wright. “He’s a great role model for youth and adults when it comes to being courageous and open about talking about these difficult things.”

In addition to education and youth outreach, Pride has helped with fundraising, spoken at PPCW events, and been an integral part of the Oregon Youth Action Research pilot project, which sought to determine how teens best learn about health and sexuality.

“To me, Planned Parenthood is an organization that is really devoted,” described Pride. “We’re more concerned with the people that we help and that we teach, and the impact we make, than anywhere else.”

That genuine desire to help people rings true with Pride. “I know I want to help people; I want to make change,” he said.

His involvement in sexuality education began at age 14: his mom gave him a box of condoms and told him not to leave his room until he could put them on in the dark with one hand tied behind his back. Since then, he’s become quite comfortable talking about sexual and reproductive health. He is fondly known around Bend as Condom Man.

“To me, condoms are pretty freaking sweet,” says Pride. “At school, I always had a bag of condoms with me. I once wore a suit with 200 condoms pinned on it.”

Pride’s commitment to his community and improving the lives of others has not been limited to his work with Planned Parenthood. He was first inspired to become a health advocate after watching the movie Patch Adams in 1998. After corresponding with Patch during his freshman year of high school, he eventually traveled as a medical clown with Patch and his team to visit children in hospitals and orphanages in Ecuador and Russia.

Pride is currently a student at Central Oregon Community College, where he continues to spread the word about sexual health. Whether writing articles for the school paper or providing condoms in the student lounge on World Aids day, he persistently looks for a way to help others, make change, and promote health. He continues to be involved in the Teen Council program in Bend, and plans to continue finding ways to help in his community.

So what’s next for Harrison? He’ll be traveling to Peru this summer to do more hospital clowning and help educate rural communities. As far as predicting a future career, Pride says the door is wide open – as long as it is something helping people.

For more information, or to learn more about volunteering at PPCW, please visit www.ppcw.org or contact us at 503.775.4931.

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Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) is the largest non-profit family planning and reproductive rights organization in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Since 1963, PPCW has successfully carried out its mission of providing, promoting and protecting access to quality reproductive and sexual health care. Each year, more than 56,000 women, men and teens visit one of PPCW’s eleven health centers. We provide a wide range education programs and health care services, including low-cost contraceptives, emergency contraception, annual gynecological check-ups, breast exams, cervical cancer detection and treatment, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy testing and options counseling. Approximately five percent of PPCW services are for first term abortion care. For more information, visit www.ppcw.org.

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