Morgan County sees about 20 pregnancies in young people between the ages of 10 and 19 every year. For each of the last two years, the Middle School has had a pregnant student.
For Audrey Morris, who has been the Director at the Morgan County Starting Points Center since 1999, those statistics are outrageous. “Whenever I hear of 11-year-olds, who are pregnant, or children being abused, it makes me angry, and that’s why I’m still here,” Morris says. “People don’t understand how if you are abused as a child it impacts the rest of your life.”
Morris applied to the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Family, for the original grant to fund the Morgan County Starting Points Center after someone told her it would be a more effective way to work on the issue of teen pregnancy prevention. At the time, Morris, a Morgan County native, had been working on the issue with the WVU Extension Service because the county had the third highest rate of teen pregnancy.