Peer Health Exchange’s empowers young people with the knowledge, skills, and resources to make healthy decisions. We do this by training college students to teach a skills-based health curriculum in under-resourced high schools across the country.
Danielle Charles-Chauvet’s high school health education consisted of gym class with sporadic lectures from middle-aged men about the importance of abstinence and caring for the female body. For many reasons, namely differences in age and sex, their message failed to reach many of the students. Unintended pregnancy became the premier reason Danielle’s female peers abandoned their education. As a college undergraduate, through Peer Health Exchange (PHE), Danielle returned to her high school to teach the health curriculum she never had. The classroom became a safe space in which teenagers could share sensitive stories without fear of judgement and examine difficult decisions with someone who had been in their shoes just three years before. By empowering her students to make informed choices about their physical and mental well-being, Danielle knows their lives will be different from those of her high school peers. She is currently pursuing a career as a physician to continue tackling health inequity after being inspired by her work as a PHE volunteer.
Peer Health Exchange aims to reduce unplanned pregancy for young people. In our sexual health program, students will learn health content, while focusing on how young people can make thoughtful decisions about sex, and how to effectively say “yes” and “no.”
Peer Health Exchange addresses the challenge of the youth mental health crisis by empowering young people and increasing the protective factors for young people. We meet students at their developmental stage through our innovative approach. Peer Health Exchange creates welcoming, open spaces for young people to learn and talk about mental health challenges and develop critical skills like communication, decision-making, advocacy for self and others, and accessing resources in support of mental health.