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Kristin Tutino
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Tuesday, September 7 at 9 p.m. Boyfriends

(Rochester, NY) – From James Dean’s portrayal of a troubled teen looking for love in Rebel Without a Cause to Ellen Paige's sweet depiction of a pregnant teen in Juno, teen love has long been examined on the silver screen. But what is teenage dating really like today? Boyfriends, airing Tuesday, September 7 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), takes viewers inside the world of five teenage girls from North Texas as they navigate the joys and sorrows of their romantic relationships over the course of one year.

The young women featured in the documentary openly discuss their hopes and fears, choices of sex or abstinence, dependence and independence and their dreams for the future. The girls are from different economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and are featured with their boyfriends, parents, children and friends.

The documentary and profiles of each of the young women featured in the program are posted on the Boyfriends companion Web site at www.BoyfriendsWeb.com. The site also includes resources, a discussion guide to the documentary for parents and facilitators, a guide for parents on how to talk to their children about healthy relationships; and a guide for teens about positive and negative relationships.

Experts in the areas of teen pregnancy, self abuse and poverty are among those offering guidance to the Boyfriends project by contributing insight and opinion on ways to help young women form and maintain healthy relationships. They include:

Dr. Susan Sugerman is president and co-founder of Girls to Women Health and Wellness, a multidisciplinary medical practice dedicated to the physical and emotional needs of girls and young women ages 10-25.

Allison Whitehead is executive director and founder of alley’s house, a Dallas-based organization created to break the generational, economic and social impact of teenage pregnancy in the community and to empower teen mothers and their children to achieve independence through support services, education and mentoring.

Karen Conterio is CEO and founder of Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E. Alternatives). S.A.F.E is the first outpatient support group for those who engage in repetitive self-harm behavior.

Lori Vann is a licensed professional counselor supervisor with experience in a variety of settings from inpatient psychiatric hospitals to outpatient clinics, private practice and the non-profit sector. 

Dr. Luis Zayas is a licensed psychologist and social worker with 25 years clinical experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families in community mental health, psychiatric clinics, pediatric rehabilitation and community-based primary care medicine.

Norma Westurn is executive director of Centro de Mi Salud, a mental health care facility for the Hispanic/Latino Community that strives to assist and empower clients to help themselves by providing high quality mental healthcare based on love, understanding and professional knowledge.

Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D. is the founder of aha! Process, Inc., an organization dedicated to creating a positive impact on the education and lives of individuals in poverty.


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.