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Meet Sebastieon Semper

faces of change, sebastieon semper
By , 17, Staff Writer Originally Published: May 3, 2018 Revised: May 16, 2018

Meet Sebastieon Semper, 16, from Queens, New York. Among his friends, Sebastieon is known for being the guy to come to for condoms and sexual health information. He is part of the New York City Teens Connection (NYCTC) program, which aims to raise sexual health awareness and works with youth and community-based organizations to share evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention information.

“If I could remove a word from the dictionary, I’d remove the word ‘can’t’ because it reminds me of life’s limitations.”

Sebastieon initially got involved when a school guidance counselor introduced him to NYCTC. “From there on it was full speed ahead,” he says. Sebastieon is now a Youth Leadership Team member for the program. He has attended events like a Teen Dating Violence Prevention Walk and Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets block parties. At these parties, he and his team distributed information on safer sex and emergency contraception.

Initially, his friends would tell him that he was weird or stupid for being involved with a sexual health advocacy program; “Until it actually came down to them being sexually active, and then they took my advice as helpful,” he says. He feels that it’s easier for teenagers to hear sexual health messages from other teens rather than adults because of the age difference. When teens hear info from other teens, “It doesn’t seem like you’re forcing it upon them; they have a choice of whether they want to listen to the information or not,” Sebastieon says. He takes pride in being able to help his peers in this way.

Sebastieon is also involved in Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI), a youth violence intervention prevention and empowerment program in Brooklyn. “The program emphasizes brotherhood and kinship as an alternative to gang violence and drug abuse,” he says.

Sebastieon’s eagerness to spread information that can help other teens make healthy decisions is why we chose to profile him for Faces of Change.

Passion

“One thing that I am really passionate about is safe sex. This is due to the fact that lots of kids in NYC feel that it is the norm to have unprotected sex without thinking about the consequences that may occur after, like unintended pregnancy or STIs (sexually transmitted infections). It is important that teens get to discuss these topics because it increases our maturity and it gives us the opportunity to actually make smart decisions on our own.”

Inspiration

“I am inspired by P. Diddy because no matter what obstacles he faces in his life, his grind never changes. He remains humble and keeps his head up high as he faces his problems head on.”

Likes

“I like music and sports; the excitement and rhythm intrigue me and put me in a good mood.”

Remove It From the Dictionary

“If I could remove a word from the dictionary, I’d remove the word ‘can’t’ because it reminds me of life’s limitations.”

Dream Dinner

“[If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be] Jay-Z so that we could discuss music.”

Stranded on a Desert Island

“I am bringing MacGyver, a ‘how to survive’ book and canned beans.”

Show Him the Money

“If I had a million dollars to change sex ed, I would start up more New York City Teens Connection Youth Leadership teams so that there was one for each of the five boroughs and all of New York City can be sexually aware and focused. Then we could expand to the United Sates and then the world!”

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