The Early Years
The South Carolina Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (SCCAPP) was founded in 1994 by Joy Campbell and a network of grassroots advocates and supporters. Original funding for the organization ($50,000) was provided through the March of Dimes – focusing on four action areas: public awareness, technical assistance, education and advocacy – with a matching grant from the South Carolina Health and Human Services Finance Commission. In 1995, then Governor David Beasley withdrew state funding for the SC Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention; however, the March of Dimes increased its allocation which allowed the project to continue.
NOTE: in 1999 the organization officially became the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (SC Campaign) to reflect an ongoing partnership with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
One of the earliest, and still to this day, most notable accomplishments of SCCAPP was its leadership on a three-year grassroots campaign resulting in the SC Legislature allocating $10.5 million to create the Community Grants for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in 1998. The grants allowed for teen pregnancy prevention in all of South Carolina's 46 counties. Additionally during Campbell’s tenure the SC Campaign became a national model as one of the first state’s in the country to utilize surplus TANF funds for teen pregnancy prevention; published South Carolina Speaks, a survey of registered voters regarding comprehensive sex education in public schools; an economic impact study detailing the costs of public services to families begun when the mother was a teen; and hosted its first annual Summer Institute.
Period of Growth
In December 2001, Dr. Suzan D. Boyd assumed the role of Executive Director at the SC Campaign. Dr. Boyd's prior experience ranged from management and primary care activities at the Brookside Park Family Life Center (Boston), MA, to Vice President of Ambulatory Services at St. Joseph Hospital (Chicago), to Director of the MHA Program at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. Under her leadership the organization grew significantly in scope and reach - to over 20 full and part-time staff, and a budget that increased 500% in her five year tenure.
The programmatic sophistication of the organization grew considerably as well stimulated by two specific events. First, an intensive advocacy campaign resulted in state line-item funding - through the Department of Social Services - being directed to the SC Campaign, which allowed for programming to expand to all 46 counties of the state. In addition, the organization’s first federal funding was secured through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over time, the annual Summer Institute has become recognized as one of the best conferences in the country, over 1,000 providers participated annually in educational workshops, and the SC Campaign began providing resources back to local communities through the distribution of mini-grant funding and resources materials.
A National Leader
In January 2007 Forrest Alton assumed the position of Executive Director, a position renamed Chief Executive Officer in 2010. Prior to this appointment Mr. Alton served the organization in multiple capacities including Associate Director. Mr. Alton holds a Masters in Public Health from the USC Arnold School of Public Health and has been a part of teen pregnancy prevention efforts in South Carolina for more than 15 years.
The SC Campaign is now firmly established as a national leader in the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, employs more than 30 people, has an annual budget that exceeds $5 million, and continues to realize the benefits of a commitment to research proven prevention strategies and an investment in the state's young people. Teen birth rates have decreased by 32% in the last decade and the state now has the lowest teen birth rates among school-aged children ever!
In 2010, the SC Campaign also secured nearly $15 million in federal funding to support teen pregnancy prevention efforts throughout the state. Given the economically challenging times in the state, the fact that the organization is able to re-grant more than $1.5 million annually to community and school-based programs throughout the state has allowed for continuation of local efforts reaching the state’s young people.
Awards and Recognition
- When Work Works Award (2016)
- Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility (2013)
- Annie Barnes Patient Advocate award from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (2013)
- City Year Ripples of Hope Awardee (2011)
- Best in Class (2010-2011): United Way of the Midlands
- Unsung Hero (2009): EdVenture Children’s Museum
- Contribution to the Field of Adolescent Health (2005): US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Outstanding Contribution to Health Education (2004): SC Association for the Advancement of Health Education
- Outstanding State Coalition (1999): National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
- Outstanding State Contribution (1999): American Association of University Women
- Outstanding State Coalition (1998): National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention
Learn about our current efforts to prevent teen pregnancy in South Carolina.