What is the focus of My Journey? 

The My Journey curriculum promotes healthy, balanced decision making around sexual health, with the intention to reduce unintended teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. 
  • My Journey is based on several Core Concepts, which are the foundation of the curriculum: 
    • Medicine Wheel (Balance of Body, Mind, Emotion, & Spirit)
    • Chain Reaction Model (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow)
    • Traditional Native American Values (Respect, Perseverance, Fortitude, Humility,   Honor, Love, Sacrifice, Truth, Compassion, Bravery, Generosity,  & Wisdom)
    • Sexual Health (Taking Personal and Sexual Responsibility)
    • Goal Setting
How was My Journey Created?
My Journey development started through a needs assessment in a rural and urban community in SD, where we conducted focus groups with American Indian youth (parents and non-parents) and elders, and interviews with school personnel and healthcare providers. That data gave us several directions for development, including encouragement to develop a culturally-informed curriculum with students before high school, and to work with schools. Across the next two years, we developed and piloted the curriculum with 8th graders in 3 urban schools and one tribal school. 
 
What has been the Response to My Journey? 
There was a wonderful response from the teachers and students about the benefit of the program and potential for future students. Students responded that they were “learning a lot”, and that the material and activities were “fun”. The students particularly enjoyed the hands on activities, which included the river decision making game, STI transmission activity, and the stepping stone activity.
 
What are the benefits of My Journey? 
Information in My Journey is presented in a culturally-relevant way, with interactive activities, videos, journal entries, and take-home assignments. Through My Journey, students consider how culture and environment play an important role in a person’s fundamental beliefs and values. My Journey has students identify these factors and explore the effect their decisions have on their personal lives, futures, and goals as well as the effect their decisions have on the people around them. My Journey equips students with information, tools, and skills that enable students to take charge of their decision making. To build familial involvement and participation in student learning, students are assigned journal entries that require active participation from a student’s family or trusted adult. We hope that by equipping students with skills to make healthy decisions and increasing their positive ethnic identity, we will ultimately impact their lives and futures by promoting their ability to attain their goals through reducing risk behaviors that lead to pregnancy.
 
What specific training will be required before and after implementation? 
There will be no formal training required if the external facilitator is utilized. If the teachers would like to be trained to implement My Journey, that would take additional time. 
 
What is the implementation timeline? 
We propose that the implementation of My Journey would be done within a semester, but are flexible about the timing throughout the semester.
 
Who Created My Journey?
Numerous individuals played an instrumental role in developing My Journey. This curriculum resulted from a partnership with Sanford Research, Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board, South Dakota Urban Indian Health, University of Minnesota, and New Legacy Partnerships.
 
Who Funded the Creation of the My Journey?
This project is supported by Award Number P20MD001631-06 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities or the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
 
Are you interested in implementing My Journey?
Please contact Principal Investigator: DenYelle Baete Kenyon, Sanford Research, 605-312-6207, denyelle.kenyon@sanfordhealth.org