Why I became a CAPP Educator: Kathy Vance

Kathy Vance, Louisa County Director at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, was well positioned to take on pregnancy prevention when the opportunity opened at her agency. Back in the 1920s and 1930s, Kathy’s grandmother was a proponent of women’s rights and worked on projects to promote access to birth control. She and her husband  worked with their church to house and care for young, pregnant, single women until their babies arrived. While Kathy was growing up, her mother taught Home Ec and was a proponent of using proper words for reproductive anatomy. She had early discussions with Kathy as a 3rd grader about biology based on what she taught her high school students.

Kathy remembers conversations with her father about being ready to have sex. He firmly believed it was the female who was in charge of determining when to have sex and reiterated that message with her brothers. Kathy’s father also often shared that sex would be the “icing on the cake” of a good relationship. Without a solid relationship (cake), sex would be like eating a lot of frosting without the cake. This message is similar to the themes in Love Notes, curriculum Kathy uses today as a Community Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (CAPP) grantee to promote healthy relationships.

And so, when the previous CAPP educator left the position at ISU Extension & Outreach, Kathy knew this was her change to “do something I really know a lot about and feel is really important!” In addition to the services Kathy provides with CAPP in Louisa county, she has also provided voiceovers for statewide campaigns to promote healthy conversations about sex and relationships. Kathy hopes to continue this work into her retirement.

Learn more about the CAPP Program and the work grantees are doing around Iowa here.