FYI Peer Education Program
FYI began in 2008 with a group of high school students dedicated to providing their peers with accurate sexual health information. The purpose of the program is to train Knoxville-area teens to become peer educators who will in turn help other teens make healthy decisions about their sexual health and sexuality.
What do FYI Peer Educators do?
FYI Peer Educators attend over 50 hours of training and skills building over two semesters. With this knowledge, they commit to spreading this information to their peers by responding accurately to questions from about relationships, decision making, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, LGBTQIA issues, community resources and more. FYI Peer Educators also participate in community advocacy on issues such as comprehensive sexuality education, sexual assault awareness, safer sex, LGBTQIA rights, and more. These advocacy events range from information handouts, visibility events, and even meeting with legislators.
Each year, FYI Peer Educators also host a photography exhibition called Framing Choice: What Choice Means to Me. Throughout the year, students take photographs to depict decisions they've made in their lives that are important to them. Every spring, students sell their photographs at Framing Choice to raise money to support the FYI Program.
How do I become a peer educator?
Each spring, FYI interviews and selects new applicants for the upcoming school year. Applicants must be rising high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors from the greater Knoxville area.
To apply or more information about FYI, please email the FYI Coordinator at [email protected] or call 865.231.9694.
Why Peer Education?
Research indicates that teens receive most of their information from other teens, but unfortunately much of this information is inaccurate and can contribute to inadequate health care and risky behaviors. Due to the high rates of STIs and teenage pregnancies in the United States, peer education programs are necessary to help America's youth obtain accurate sexual health knowledge and engage in fewer risk behaviors. Studies have shown that people are more likely to hear and personalize messages, and thus to change their attitudes and behaviors, if they believe the messenger is similar to them and faces the same concerns and pressures.[1, 2]
1.Sloane BC, Zimmer CG. The power of peer health education. Journal of American College Health 1993; 41:241-245.
2.Milburn K. A critical review of peer education with young people with special reference to sexual health. Health Education Research 1995; 10:407-420.