Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio's Peer Education Program is funded in part by The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and The Columbus Foundation. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio assists in developing and maintaining the peer education program.
Young women in Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio's Peer Education Program will receive extensive training on health, sexuality, advocacy, presentation techniques and answering difficult questions thus strengthening their leadership skills. Once training is complete, the participants will provide presentations to students at Central Ohio schools on reproductive health and sexuality issues. Peer Educators will strengthen their peers' skills in building healthy relationships, refusing and delaying intercourse, making responsible decisions, and planning for adulthood, and will be empowered to advocate for changes in government and school policy to encourage women's rights and comprehensive sexuality education.
Benefits of Peer Education programs:
- Peer education is a rare opportunity for young people to develop and sustain leadership and facilitation skills that will serve them well in both the short-term and the long-term.
- Peer educators model positive youth behavior, affecting social norms, as well as model constructive relationships between adults and young people, qualities which are all too rare in our society.
- In some situations, such as discussing sex or the nuances of teen culture, peers can achieve a level of comfort and trust that is difficult for adults to match.
- Research also suggests that programs for youth which are developed through a partnership of youth and adults may be highly effective in building young people's skills and reducing their sexual risk-taking behaviors. For example, studies show that adolescents who believe their peers are using condoms are twice as likely to use condoms compared to teens who believe their peers do not use condoms.
- Peer educators have the opportunity to get involved with local government by advocating directly to state and federal legislators and community members.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio's Community Outreach Department will train participants to be peer educators.
Peer Educator Training will focus on:
- Program implementation and the responsibilities of becoming a peer educator;
- Importance of behavior change in reducing risky behaviors;
- Fundamentals of making responsible decisions;
- Refusal, delaying, negotiation and conflict resolution skills;
- Self-esteem, good health and responsible choices;
- STIs and HIV;
- Basic principals of anatomy and pregnancy;
- and Methods of birth control.
These young women will reach 300 - 400 other young women in their communities and schools who are at risk for experiencing an unintended pregnancy, or contracting STI’s.