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Picture this: you’re 14 years old and don’t drive yet. Even if you did, you live in a bustling city, so you’re more likely to take a bus, train or another mode of public transportation. Yet, when you get to your ninth grade physical education (PE) class you’re made to watch a video about the harms of drunk driving. This video counts as your health education.
This is the exact scenario I recently encountered at a Cambridge school. A charter school PE teacher had reached out and invited me to meet him during one of his classes.
He admitted he wasn’t explicitly trained as a health educator and Peer Health Exchange’s near-peer model really intrigued him.
My heart sank as I arrived and saw him play this video. Not only was it outdated, but the video lacked diversity featuring only White actors.
When I think of classrooms like this that exist all across our country, I think of teachers who—because of budget cuts, layoffs or a school’s lack of resources—are forced to take on double duty and teach health education—even if they haven’t been trained to teach it.
When I think of these classrooms, of these students, of these teachers who might feel uncomfortable and are just doing the best they can, then I think Peer Health Exchange has not just a perspective, but a responsibility, to share our model as a viable option for any community.-Ann Peralta, Vice-President of Partnerships
Thanks to the hard work and commitment of so many people like you, more than 150 thousand young people have had a better experience than the one described above. They’ve been equipped with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to make healthy decisions through Peer Health Exchange.
However, there are still millions of young people who lack access to equitable health education and resources across our country.
We are rapidly expanding, and this year we launched a new chapter in Denver, Colorado at Metro State University.
Now we’re looking for the next round of cities and sites! That’s where you come in. Do you know of a college student, faculty, or staff member who would support bringing Peer Health Exchange to their community?
Do you know high school teachers or school districts that need programming like ours? Are you that person?