Making the Community More Vibrant

September 30, 2013 Updated Oct 2, 2013 at 12:04 AM EDT

By Joanna Pasceri

...
September 30, 2013 Updated Oct 2, 2013 at 12:04 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The National Association of Women Business Owners Buffalo/Niagara teams up with Channel 7 every month to honor a local woman in leadership.

September's Women In Leadership honoree, Betsy Harned, is working to make the community more vibrant and healthy.

Harned is standing up for women who may not have access to quality medical care.

She feels so strongly about women's issues, this attorney left her job at a law firm and became the head of Community Engagement at Planned Parenthood of WNY.

"If you don't move past that comfort zone, then you are holding yourself back," says Harned.

With rates of sexually transmitted infections off the charts in Western New York, Betsy's biggest challenge now is working to get more sex education in our schools. It's not mandatory in New York, but Planned Parenthood has teamed up with other agencies on a program that is being implemented in some classrooms across the area.

Betsy says teen pregnancy has a huge economic impact in our community and often fuels the cycle of poverty for young mothers.

It's a crisis that motivates this fierce fighter of women to come to work everyday, hoping to change lives.