Thank you for the kind introduction and thank you to all of you coming here today.
I would like to express a big thank you to NASDAQ OMX for donating this beautiful space to Childhood and Inwood House, and hosting this Symposium.
Last night I was in a beautiful room full of Childhood supporters and guests, celebrating what Childhood has accomplished in just 13 years.
Today, I am looking forward to listening to panelists and speakers who work with programs and activities that help children every day, here in NYC, the US, and around the world.
We are here to learn more about investing in future generations, and especially, how we all can be part of to preventing teenage parenting.
Inwood House, our partner in this event, is a leading agency in NY City since 1830, helping teens take charge of their lives on a daily basis. Inwood House offers ongoing support to teens at-risk through school-based programs and residential and counseling services for pregnant and parenting teens. They also help to prevent more harm to the more than 8,000 children born to teenage mothers each year in New York City.
Almost thirteen years ago, I started World Childhood Foundation, with the mission to help vulnerable children at risk for abuse.
From the beginning, we focused on girls and young mothers, and on children who have been, or are at risk for sexual abuse and exploitation.
This Symposium shows that there are forces that can be mobilized and models and initiatives that can be developed to better the outcomes for all children.
The Symposium has been in the works for a long time and I am very pleased that so many people have come together to share their knowledge and experiences on the value of helping children.
Preventing children from having children is vital if we are going to give young people realize their potential and giving them a chance of becoming responsible and productive adults.
We welcome the opportunity to raise the importance of preventing teenage parenting and hope that you will walk away this afternoon with a renewed sense of urgency that there is much that has been done and that all of us can do more to help young people succeed.