Huntington, Ind.—Janelle Taylor, a 1997 Huntington University graduate, provides encouragement to students who want to save themselves sexually for marriage.
She has worked as the executive director of True Life Choices, an organization that promotes abstinence, since December of 2004. As part of her responsibilities, Taylor travels to schools in Indiana, giving students vital skills so they can make wise decisions.
“This is an area that most people struggle with, even Christians,” Taylor says. “God made us with hormones and natural desires, but deviating from His plan only causes heartache and regret.”
Taylor graduated from Huntington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She was a high school English teacher when she felt a calling to join TLC.
“I helped out with TLC hosting a table at one of their fundraisers. I knew I wanted to get more out of teaching, and I felt like I wanted to work with students more directly,” she said.
As a public school teacher, Taylor felt limited in talking with students about the problems they were having. She said most were dealing with dysfunctional relationships and promiscuous lifestyles.
“I saw high-schoolers having to deal with adult responsibilities without the proper skills necessary to navigate through peer pressure,” Taylor said.
She resigned from teaching, learned about an opening in TLC and pursued it because she believed the position would give her opportunities to share her beliefs with young people.
Taylor says that Huntington University helped prepare her in her job because of the integration of faith. She said it was a key lesson in her college experience.
Since 1995, 42 schools in seven Northeast Indiana counties have been contracted with TLC. The number of teens that have participated exceeds 66,000.
Taylor says that if she had the right funding, she would like to see TLC expand their services for after-school centers and youth groups.
“I would also like to see us take programs to college campuses, where STDs are at an all-time high.”
TLC is helping to equip youth with the skills that help them develop positive character traits and build self-esteem.
“Know that you are not alone in your walk of purity and it is not just something you strive for until you get married,” Taylor says. “It is actually a life-long calling for Christ’s disciples whether married or not. Purity is not just physical; it is also mental, spiritual and emotional.”
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