Women’s Center Aims to Improve Community through Essay Contest

Florida A&M University’s Women’s Center, located in Sunshine Manor at Florida A&M, announced its winners of its “Back to School” essay contest on Aug. 25, sponsored by a government grant to increase health and wellness of women of color.

The winners of the contest are Brittney Croslin, who received the first place prize of $300; Richanna Euton, who received the second place prize of $125; and Adaugo Ndubuise, who received the third place prize of $75. Participants had to submit a three-page essay on the topic “Talking to my partner about HIV to minimize my chance of contracting HIV: Addressing negativity about safe-sex practices.”

Yolanda Bogan, Director of Counseling Services, has worked at Sunshine Manor since 2005, and has high hopes for future applicants.

“We are excited about helping women to be more aware of strategies they can use to improve and sustain overall health,” Bogan said. “We wanted women to have the opportunity to speak about that topic, because women are the ones primarily getting HIV with unprotected, heterosexual sex.”

In addition to workshops and literature provided by the Women’s Center, the contest allowed students to discuss an issue that effects the women population.

“The Federal government recognizes that youth need to be targeted nationally, so the focus of the Women’s Center is to educate women about HIV in particular,” Bogan said.

Bogan said the contest requires women to consider the health of themselves and their partners when planning birth control and contraceptive use.

Quantina Washington, a licensed mental health counselor, said the contest was the start of a positive change in sexual behavior and safe sex practices on campus.

“I believe that a tremendous amount of good can come from the essays, because they not only increase awareness about the issue, but it can also change students’ perceptions,” said Washington.

The Women’s Center has a new essay contest open to all students. The topic for the essay is on the advantages and responsibilities of bicycle use on campus. Deadline for all essays is Monday, Sept. 19 at 5 p.m.

For more information on contests, sponsored events and health information, contact Yolanda Bogan at (850) 599-3145 or visit the Sunshine Manor Facebook page or follow Famu4women on Twitter.