Carmen, with her award!
As you know, our Teen Health Promotors program is filled with amazing youth who are amazing peer educators. One such youth, Carmen, just won the DC Department of Health's award for "Outstanding Peer Educator of the Year." See below for her nomination letter, written by staff member Lily Gage.
"It is with great pleasure that I nominate Carmen for the DC Department of Health/HAHSTA Outstanding Peer Educator of the Year. Carmen is a member of LAYC’s Teen Health Promoters (THP) Program, and her contributions to this program are unparalleled. As part of this program, Carmen completed our Sexual Wellness Advocacy by Teens 11-hour curriculum. Through this program, she has learned not only facts about sexual health, but also how to be an outstanding peer health advocate and educator.
Weekly, the THP students fill out process logs, documentation recording conversations with peers, friends, and family about the health topics we discuss in class. I am continually impressed with the discussions Carmen records and shares. Not only does Carmen go above and beyond with the quantity of discussions she has with others, but the depth of her conversations far exceeds what I would expect from a high schooler. She has discussed, with friends and family, everything from sexually-transmitted infections to what it means to be transgender.
During the THP application process, all the students are required to denote whether they would rather do a clinical or peer educator internship. Of all 15 students, Carmen was the only student who indicated that she wanted to pursue the peer educator internship. For this internship, Carmen has spent the last two months meeting with the Teen Health Promoters Coordinator to work on her facilitation skills and become more comfortable with our Sexual Wellness Advocacy by Teens curriculum. Last week, she successfully facilitated a workshop on reproductive anatomy at Anacostia High School.
Carmen exemplifies all of the qualities of a good peer educator. She is knowledgeable, understanding, nonjudgmental, communicative, and well-spoken. She is comfortable discussing difficult topics and does so factually, with respect and tact. Carmen is responsible, engaged, asks questions related to whatever health topics we are learning, and is always willing to volunteer and speak up.
Finally, Carmen went above and beyond her role in THP when she filmed and edited the Teen Health Promoter’s video submission for the 'Check Your Risk' video contest. I have no doubt that Carmen will go on to do great things as a peer educator and health advocate."
Thank you so much for your support of amazing youth like Carmen. Please consider donating monthly to support this program, and to create more outstanding peer educators!
Carmen (back left) with the other THP students.