Teen named Cosmo girl of the year - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teen named Cosmo girl of the year

November 24, 2003

Albany- Students in Mrs. Battle's English class are studying a poem about love, but love is something junior Courtney Calhoun tells her peers is not enough when it comes to sex.

"We thought that a lot of teens probably would listen to us because we're teens so we decided to come up with a program in the school where we set up youth summits to educate them on STD's and teen pregnancy," she explains.

She calls it Teen Choice. A youth advocacy program inspired by several peers who became teen parents and one who contracted HIV.

"The reason she contracted HIV was because she said she wasn't educated. She said she knew about the dangers but she really wasn't educated."

This 17 year old's drive to educate teens has earned her a 10 thousand dollar Maybeline scholarship and the title of Cosmo Girl of the Year.

"I was coming from the car and I was like mom I've got to get my hair done. She was like you can't get your hair done because your Cosmo Girl of the year, and I was so happy. I was in the car and I had to come back in the school and tell my principal Mr. Reed."

Her mother Nina says she's always had an open line of communication with her daughter, but says she's a better role model than anything. "

Actions speak louder than words, so I feel like I can show her better than tell her what to do," her mother explains.

Through her actions Courtney is hoping Teen VChoice will help her peers make the right choice.

Courtney Calhoun plans to use the money to renovate a building and open up a Teen Choice headquarters where she and her best friend can produce a newsletter for teens in the Albany area.

Posted at 4:35 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com