Special to the E-T

Cross Timbers Family Services (CTFS), community development coordinator, Jennifer Nsekpong, will be working with Tarleton State University Residential Living and Learning and Stephenville High School this fall in establishing a new innovative prevention program.

Nsekpong, who is from North Dallas is a recent graduate of Tarleton State University and has been working for CTFS for the past five months. Nsekpong obtained a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in technical writing in 2009. Nsekpong was very active in college and was in organizations such as SGA Executive (Student Government), Alpha Gamma Delta, and HLT (Housing Leadership Team). Pursuing a non-profit career has always been one of Nsekpong’s dreams.

“I have always known my main goal in life was to help people,” she said.

CTFS was granted this year with the Sexual Assault Prevention & Crisis Services Federal (SAPCS-Federal) grant beginning Wednesday. The SAPCS-Federal is a grant from the Office of Attorney General and it is focused on the prevention of sexual assault.

CTFS had to choose two goals to focus on for this grant, one to increase positive peer influences among male’s ages 10-24 and two, decrease bullying and/or sexual harassment behavior in youth 5-18.

First, CTFS will collaborate with Tarleton State Residential Living and Learning to increase positive peer influences among males ages 10-24. The nine-month program called CABER (Changing Attitudes and Building Effective Relationships). This program will be presented to the residential leaders, and then the residential leaders will have a chance to challenge their norms and will be provided the tools to build healthy relationships with other individuals.

Secondly, CTFS will collaborate with Stephenville High School organization ASAP (Active Students Advocating Peace), which is a program that was created by CTFS and the high school counselor, Amy Kuhns. The organization’s main agenda is to bring unity throughout the high school and focus on decreasing bullying and/or sexual harassment behavior in youth 5-18.

ASAP will use the same CABER program, but has been customized for high school students. Both the residential leaders and ASAP students will be making posters that will be featured around town. Students will also alternate writing summaries about what they have learned that particular month, which will be featured in the Empire-Tribune’s education page.