SAN ANTONIO -

Despite a reported drop in teen births last year in Bexar County, $60 million of taxpayer money still went toward the issue. 

Metropolitan Health District officials are hoping that sharing this knowledge with the public -- and introducing a longer lasting birth control option next year -- will increase prevention efforts. 

High school senior Destiny Deleon said she always knew she wanted to finish high school and go to college. She said her grandmother, mother, and aunt were all teen moms. She feels her relationship with her mother broke the cycle for her.

"My mom was really involved, and we have an open relationship. We're friends and mother and daughter. She doesn't hold anything back," said Deleon.

Deleon is part of Project Worth, a program sponsored by San Antonio's Metropolitan Health District. Members spread the word about the teen birth rate in Bexar County.

Last year, the teen birth rate was still 46 percent higher than the national teen birth rate.

“It's much easier for teens to talk to other teens because, as a teen myself, it's a little like people are scolding you. The peer-to-peer communication is really helpful when trying to convey information," said Jane Emma Barnett, a high school sophomore.

San Antonio is making progress, but much more needs to be done. 

Metro Health Director Dr. Thomas Schlenker said starting next year, he's going to make available a longer lasting birth control option to teen girls. 

It's called Nexplanon, an implant which is inserted under the skin. It is effective for up to three years and can be removed at any time.

"We will be able to connect sexually active teenagers with doctors that can get long-acting, reversible contraception," said Schlenker.

For Deleon, she said she hopes to be a role model for those who may need someone to look up to. 

Schlenker said they do have the money in their budget to provide teens with the Nexplanon contraception. 

For more information and a detailed 2012 Teen Pregnancy Report and Fact Sheet, visit www.sanantonio.gov/ProjectWORTH or call 207-8850.

For a list of recent stories Mariza Mendoza has done, click here.