We've been up to some pretty cool stuff!

 
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Tackling health disparity with innovation and student empowerment

May 25, 2018

In and around the county where I taught, teen pregnancy rates have been disproportionately higher compared to those in more affluent, non-rural parts of our state for some time. While students are supposed to receive state mandated sex education in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, my experience was that many of them still sought additional answers relating to puberty, STDs and gender identities, to name a few.

 
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AiT Exclusive Interview: Anxiety, Sex Ed and RealTalk with MyHealthEd Co-Founder Cristina Leos

May 4, 2018

More than any other time, the teenage years are confusing times. This couldn’t ring truer when it comes to sexual education: anxiety about pregnancy, STDs, and body changes abound! Fear not- RealTalk is here to help you with all of your innermost questions and concerns. Best of all, the content is youth-led! Join us for an AiT Exclusive interview with MyHealthEd’s Co-Founder, Cristina Leos, as she discusses the Real Talk app here!

 
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Real Talk App Reaches Teens Worldwide

May 1, 2018

Teaching science in a high school in eastern North Carolina taught Liz Chen valuable public health lessons. She noticed teens were constantly on their cell phones. She also noticed many of the teenage girls were pregnant. Now with a master’s in public health degree under her belt, she is focused on earning a PhD in health behavior at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. But she is not waiting until graduation to make a difference in the lives of the teens she taught five years ago. Chen and her former high school teaching colleague Vichi Jagannathan and her current classmate Cristina Leos, MSPH, are the creators of Real Talk. Real Talk is a mobile app that teaches teens about sexuality and other public health topics, like bullying, through storytelling.

 
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MyHealthEd: Making sex education accessible

April 1, 2018

The RealTalk App has reached teens from around 40 countries and has been downloaded almost 6,000 times. Making sex education compulsory in schools is a long fight, something which is more about fighting the taboos associated with the terminology than the education part of it. But the lack of information puts hundreds of lives at risk. Not knowing the right approach, many rely on the internet and often end up entangled amidst stereotypes and exaggerations which can often have a strong influence on their personalities.

 
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How these women-run apps are changing sex education

January 30, 2018

Because sex education as teenagers is so terribly delivered, sexual health becomes a taboo, and overtly unavailable in conversations. Sexual illiteracy is common in adulthood as their childhood lacked proper and informative education. However, for these two smartphone applications, technology is breaching those gaps in order to strive to create quality comprehensive information.

 
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Forbes winners credit IEI and early reading as part of business success

January 9, 2018

For Liz Chen, 29, reading meant feeding her inquisitive young mind as she grew up just outside Boston. The 2014 SECU Emerging Issues Innovation Contest winner runs MyHeathEd, Inc., a nonprofit organization which produces a mobile app called Real Talk,designed to educate middle schoolers on sexual health topics.

 
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How this new sex-ed app for teens aims to change lives

December 18, 2017

Think back to your middle-school and high-school days. Now imagine if there had been a super-easy way to learn everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask. 

Well now, of course, there’s an app for just that. It’s called Real Talk, and it’s setting out to change the game when it comes sex ed and technology.

 
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This App Lets Teens Learn About Sex Through Text Messages

November 16, 2017

In 2016, three women decided to transform sex education for teens through technology. Together, they created Real Talk.

 
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30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs

November 14, 2017

What never grows old? The burning desire of youth to reinvent the world. That ambition and impatience is on full display in our 2018 edition of the Forbes 30 Under 30, our annual encyclopedia of creative disruption featuring 600 young stars in 20 different industries.

 
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UNC Graduate students build app to teach middle school students about sex ed

November 5, 2017

Two UNC doctoral students are changing the way middle school students access sex education. Elizabeth Chen and Cristina Leos, both studying health behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, and co-creator Vichi Jagannathan are finalizing their app "Real Talk" before it launches in the spring of 2018. 

 
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Innovation Next 2016 Winners Launch App

October 25, 2017

Using the Design Thinking framework, Innovation Next recruits and works with several groups to refine their projects, so that they can successfully be pitched as user-centered ideas to other funders. Our staffer, De'Jonnae, caught up with one of last year's award-winning groups, MySexEd.  

 
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Using teens' phones to tackle tough topics

October 21, 2017

This weekend on YOUR HEALTH® Adam and guest co-host Dr. Michael Baca-Atlas talk with the co-founders of MyHealthEd Liz Chen and Vichi Jagannathan about Real Talk, the company’s new app that uses teens’ phones as a tool to tackle hard topics.

 
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Limericks

September 30, 2017

Bill Kurtis reads three news-related limericks: App Parent, Pumpkinizor and A Quart of Bubbly.

 
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Fast Forward is Silicon Valley startup accelerator for nonprofits

September 26, 2017

Startups pitch investors all the time, but an event that's happening tonight is a little different at a startup accelerator where entrepreneurs aren't looking to make dollars, they're looking to make change.

 
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This App Gives Middle Schoolers Real Talk About Sex From The Comfort Of Their Phones

September 21, 2017

With the Trump administration slicing funding from reproductive health programs and education, a trio of female founders wants to give teens access to information on their mobile phones.

 
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Real Talk Delivers Sex Ed to Middle Schoolers Through Stories Presented as Text Message Conversations

September 18, 2017

This is the fifth feature in our 2017 entrepreneur series, highlighting Real Talk, a mobile app that provides sex education to middle schoolers via stories presented as text conversations.

 
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Sex Ed at School Is Failing Kids — So They're Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

July 28, 2017

Vichi Jagannathan and Cristina Leos, two of the cofounders of the nonprofit MyHealthEd, believe they have a unique solution when it comes to getting better sex education in front of students: a story-based sex-education app consisting of true stories from teens. 

 
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Google.org, BlackRock and others commit $2.2 million to Fast Forward’s nonprofit tech accelerator

June 30, 2017

As impact investing gains traction in the market, a new accelerator for tech nonprofits called Fast Forward has raised $2.2 million in philanthropic funding from the nonprofit arms of some of the world’s largest companies and financial services firms.

 
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Meet The Nine New Tech Nonprofits in Fast Forward's 2017 Accelerator Cohort

June 13, 2017

The entrepreneurial journey often begins as a mission to improve the world in some way.

 
 

This app offers sex ed to teens, complete with eggplant emojis and real-life stories

June 13, 2017

Most teenagers might throw out a pamphlet on birth control, but the creators of a new mobile app that looks more like Instagram or Snapchat are hopeful they can capture the attention of young people navigating a world of dating, sex and hormones.

 
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New Female-Founded App, 'Real Talk', Set to Bring Comprehensive Sex Education to Teens

June 12, 2017

A new app, set to be released later this year, aims to tackle the problem of our scattershot sex education, by putting the information (and power) right in the hands of teens.

 

This App Wants to Make Sex Ed More Accessible to Teens

May 23, 2017

Sex ed in Texas schools is inconsistent at best, but a new app could help answer students’ questions.

 

This App Could Bring Sex Ed To All Students

May 15, 2017

Real Talk helps middle schoolers access reliable sex ed information using storytelling, regardless of whether they have internet at home.

 

Women Sweep $100,000 in Startup Prizes at Yale University

May 1, 2017

On Friday, April 21st, something historic happened at Yale University, one of the oldest institutions in the country. Female founders dominated all four startup competitions, taking home a total of $100,000 in prize money to help fund their ventures.

 

Startup Yale sees high level of female entrepreneurship

Apr. 27, 2017

Startup Yale awarded prizes totaling $100,000 to four teams, all of which were led by female entrepreneurs, at the Yale School of Management last weekend.

 

Heath behavior students claim prize for health equity

Apr. 26, 2017

MyHealthEd, Inc., a nonprofit organization co-led by two students in the health behavior department at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has won the $25,000 Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation.

 

Female Founders Sweep Startup Yale

Apr. 24, 2017

Friday, April 21 was a day of showcase and celebration as Startup Yale unfolded at Yale School of Management. Bringing together top teams from across the university with new venture ideas addressing public health and education needs, environmental issues and technology solutions, the event is a testament to the innovative thinking happening across Yale’s student body.

 
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Finalists Announced for Startup Yale

Apr. 11, 2017

Finalists have been announced for Yale student entrepreneurship prizes totaling $100,000. The finalists for Yale’s four biggest entrepreneurship prizes will pitch their business ideas to panels of expert judges as part of an event called Startup Yale on April 21 at Evans Hall.

 
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And the winner is... an innovative sex ed app!

Dec. 1, 2016

During spring and summer 2016, two Gillings School doctoral students, Elizabeth Chen and Cristina Leos, along with a Yale colleague, Vichi Jagannathan, set themselves an ambitious goal – to talk to more than 150 middle-school students about sexuality, self-image, changing bodies and relationships with peers. 

 
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Teach For America Alumni Win Innovation Next Award For Sex Education App

Sept. 15, 2016

A nonprofit co-founded by a pair of TFA–Eastern North Carolina alumni has earned a grant worth up to $325,000 toward changing the way middle school students learn about sex education.

 
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2016 Innovation Next Award Winners Announced

Sept. 7, 2016

Innovation Next—a program of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health—today announced the five winning teams that will receive the inaugural program’s second round of funding as determined by a contest in August. 

 

Health behavior students awarded record $325K to teach health education through technology

Sept. 7, 2016

Elizabeth Chen, MPH, and Cristina Leos, MSPH, health behavior doctoral students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, have won a $325,000 award from Innovation Next, a program of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.