A Step Ahead Chattanooga was founded in 2013 to help kickstart conversations around how family planning positively impacts a person’s access to education, their lifetime earnings and even the health outcomes of their community. We were modeled after other great organizations with the goal of providing free birth control education, outreach and access. Today, A Step Ahead Chattanooga proudly serves communities in Southeast Tennessee, North Georgia and North Alabama.
We exist to remove barriers to contraception through education, outreach, and access to free birth control.
Everyone has a right to knowledge about how their bodies work.
When individuals have access to accurate information and access to contraception, they are better equipped to make decisions right for them and their family.
Health services should be provided free of judgment in a caring, respectful, and safe manner.
Every individual should be able to select the birth control method that is best for them.
The Late Ruth Holmberg and ASAC Founder Rachel Schulson
For many years, ASAC founder Rachel Schulson could see that there was great need for educational resources around birth control in the Chattanooga area — and yet, no organization existed to meet this need. In 2013, she learned of a program in Memphis that was working to make birth control more accessible and her interest was piqued.
Claudia Haltom, a former Juvenile Court Judicial Magistrate, had started A Step Ahead Foundation in Memphis in 2011 after seeing the impact of unintended pregnancy on the women and children coming through her courtroom. Rachel approached Claudia about using the model in Hamilton County, and A Step Ahead Chattanooga was formed. Today, there are six A Step Ahead affiliates in the state of Tennessee. Though each affiliate is incorporated independently, we continue to share a common goal and a mutually beneficial relationship, sharing ideas and best practices through regular communications.
From a staff of one, serving just one county, ASAC has grown in just eight years to include a staff of twelve, in addition to several contractors. Today, we serve an 18-county service region. We’re the first affiliate to branch out of the state of Tennessee, serving seven counties in north Georgia and north Alabama, in addition to eleven in southeast Tennessee.