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Peer Health Exchange is a non-profit organization that trains “college student volunteers to teach high school students a comprehensive health curriculum.”

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When I was in 9th grade I had to take a Health class. One day our teacher had us write letters to our future selves. She told us that she’d send them to us when we graduated high school. I never saw that letter again. I guess I’ll never know how I’m stacking up against the expectations of my 14 year old self. While many lessons from health class seem trite at the time, they can have life-long beneficial effects. Unfortunately, many public schools can’t afford to offer health education. This is a big problem because “teenagers today are engaging in risky behavior at alarming rates, harming their bodies and their futures.” Peer Health Exchange is a San Francisco, CA based non-profit organization (but they’re working across the country) that fixes this problem by recruiting, selecting, and training “college student volunteers to teach high school students a comprehensive health curriculum.” My sister is one of these volunteers, and she’s had a wonderful experience so far (which is why she has been bugging me to feature PHE).

To Your Health

Peer Health Exchange explains the need for their services with some simple statistics:

  • One in four teenagers is a binge-drinker.
  • One in four teenagers smokes cigarettes.
  • One in three teen girls becomes pregnant.
  • One in five teenagers experiences violence in a relationship.
  • One in six teenagers is overweight or obese.

There are significant long-term consequences for our society associated with each of those stats. Peer Health Exchange offers a curriculum that leaves 96% of students saying that “they will use something they learned from PHE workshops to make a healthy decision in the future.” Although it’s hard to quantify what that actually means, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. If you’d like to get involved with Peer Health Exchange, check out their Jobs page. Right now they have quite a few positions avialable including:

These are great opportunities to join an organization that is having a significant impact, so check them out.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

What’s your favorite memory from Health class?

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