National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month Celebrated at BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville

Despite Historic Declines in Teen Pregnancy and Teen Birth Rates, There is Still More Work to be Done According to Local Nonprofit BCFS-Kerrville

Despite historic declines in the rates of teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States, and an 11% reduction in the teen pregnancy rate in Texas, it is still the case that roughly one in four teen girls become pregnant before age 20 in the United States. In addition, Texas has the 45th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. To focus attention on the progress that has been made addressing the issue of teen pregnancy, and spotlight how much work is yet to be done, BCFS-Kerrville joins organizations across the country in participating in National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.

Throughout the month of May, BCFS-Kerrville will provide free pregnancy prevention classes for girls, ages 14-19. The classes will be 1-hour long and utilize an evidence-based, interactive video called Seventeen Days to engage and educate the young women. The movie depicts real-life scenarios young women face in romantic relationships, and encourages the viewers to choose how they would respond in each scenario to learn about risk, health and safety. Participation is confidential and all youth will receive prizes upon completing the 1-hour program. For more information or to schedule a class for you or your teen, please contact Kathy Rice at (830) 928-1597.

“We are pleased to bring this interactive program to the community as part of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. We recognize that teen pregnancy is a year-round issue that greatly impacts the youth of our nation, and young women in the Hill Country,” said Dennis Ferguson, Director-Community Services at BCFS-Kerrville. “We serve youth who have experienced abuse or neglect, those with an unstable home life, and teens from families that are living in poverty – it’s precisely this population that is most at-risk of teen pregnancy. So we strive to connect them to services, programs and mentors that help them make wise decisions about their health and their futures.”


BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville helps local families, youth from foster care and teens and young adults struggling with homelessness. BCFS-Kerrville provides transitional shelter, counseling, life skills programs, mentorships and more. For more information about BCFS-Kerrville, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville.

BCFS hosts 3rd annual Men’s Breakfast in Kerrville

On Thursday, November 12, BCFS Health and Human Services brought Kerrville men (and women) together at the third annual Men’s Breakfast, featuring a classic car show, pro-football player, live music and steak and eggs – all to benefit Hill Country youth and families in need.
Tyrone Smith, former NFL defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers and former Baylor University Cornerback and Team Captain, led the keynote address entitled Know Your Purpose. The Tivy High School varsity football team was among the 220 guests. The George Eychner Quintet performed while guests perused a classic car show at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. A hearty steak and eggs feast was on the menu as well, catered by Rails.
Several youth from foster care and the juvenile justice system who are in BCFS Health and Human Services’ programs attended the breakfast to personally thank donors and sponsors for their support.
The breakfast raised more than $30,000 to benefit Kerrville youth and families served by BCFS Health and Human Services. Major sponsors for the breakfast included Trade Mark-Carrier, JM Lowe, Kerrville Public Utility Board, Family Practice Associates and Camp Mystic.
“When we provide young men and women with educational and economic opportunity, and serve as a stabilizing force in their tumultuous lives, it’s good for our entire community,” said Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, development director for BCFS Health and Human Services. “The men and women who enjoyed breakfast with us are part of that stabilizing force for the next generation in the Hill Country.”
BCFS Health and Human Services helps youth from the foster care and juvenile justice systems; families with young children and teens; and young adults struggling with homelessness, poverty, substance abuse and unemployment. The organization provides counseling, education and housing assistance, mentorships, case management, parent support groups, child abuse prevention programs, and life skills trainings.
“We are so proud to be part of a town that sees value and potential in each and every life. It’s wonderful to see time-and-time again how invested our community members are in making sure we reach out our hands to help everyone who wants to work hard to reach their dreams – regardless of the challenge,” said Brenda Thompson, BCFS Health and Human Services’ local director.
For more information about BCFS’ work in the Hill Country, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville or call (830) 896-0993.

Celeste Garcia Named Executive Director – Community Services Division

Photo: Celeste Garcia

BCFS Health and Human Services has named Celeste Garcia as Executive Director of its Community Services Division. In this role, Garcia will oversee BCFS’ community-based operations, which offer services in every Texas county ranging from case management and counseling, to life skills trainings, parenting classes, college and vocational tuition vouchers for youth in foster care, shelter for young adults struggling with homelessness, and more. Garcia will assume this role on November 1.

Garcia currently serves as Associate Executive Director of BCFS’ Residential Services Division where she oversees foster care, adoption, post release and home study programs, with annual budgets totaling $16.5 million. Garcia also serves as a key liaison between BCFS and its government partners at the federal, state and local level, ensuring compliance, quality assurance, and positive program outcomes for the children, youth and families served.

Under Garcia’s leadership, BCFS’ regional offices across the country continually receive high rankings from federal partners and third party advocacy groups that laud the organization for consistently delivering critical services for children and families in need with exceptional speed, scalability, and quality.

“Celeste is a dynamic leader who invigorates her team and delivers top notch programming,” said Asennet Segura, BCFS Chief Operating Officer. “I know she will not only strengthen our current programs, but also be key in leveraging BCFS locations in other states across the nation to expand our agency’s reach to more children and families in need.”

When she served as National Program Director of BCFS’ Post Release and Home Study Services, Garcia spearheaded the opening of regional offices strategically located around the nation to serve children and families reunited after a separation that sometimes spanned years. Garcia has worked closely with the U.S. departments of Justice, Homeland Security and key international diplomats to ensure BCFS’ operations filled gaps for unmet needs, and exceeded contract requirements.

“Throughout her tenure at BCFS, Celeste has maintained a laser focus on a singular, critical mission: ensuring the best quality placements and environments for children and youth in our care,” said Kevin Dinnin, BCFS President.

Garcia has 14 years of experience advocating for children and families. She earned her Masters of Science in Social Administration at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Community Services Division operates centers across Texas that serve youth from the foster care system, teens struggling with homelessness, poverty or a history of abuse, youth in the juvenile justice system, and families. At BCFS centers, youth receive case management, counseling, and assistance with education, employment and housing. Parent support groups and parenting education programs educate families on how to improve communication, resolve conflict, and create a stable, safe home environment for their families.