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The conversation surrounding sexuality and sexual health is a never-ending one. That’s why we have the Peer Advocates Program in western Riverside for college students. This program works to fill the gap between college students and their sexual and reproductive health by having a peer resource to encourage safe, informed, and healthy decision-making. Although some young people might have had sexual health education in high school or from their caregivers, others might not have had any sexual health education. And even for those who did have a comprehensive and inclusive sexual health class in high school, this is an opportunity for a refresher or to learn something new. Overall, this program is another resource to reduce stigma through education that will increase awareness of sexual and reproductive health.  

The program requires a six-month commitment from college students to perform outreach in their university communities. They are trained on several sexual health topics, such as:

  • Birth control methods
  • Consent
  • Boundaries
  • Porn literacy
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Stigma related to sexual and reproductive health
  • And many more!

Their outreach consists of tabling at community and Planned Parenthood events, hosting educational activities, and creating their own sexual health-focused events for their peers. Our first cohort of Peer Advocates created vulva piñatas, to fill with candy as décor. They’ve also done painting activities to represent what reproductive justice looks like to them. Our current cohort is going to graduate the program in May, and not only have they learned about sexual and reproductive health and informed their peers, they’ve also been a massive help to our community engagement team in western Riverside through their participation in outreach events.

One peer advocate assisted in creating condom goody bags for National Condom Week. The goody bags were then distributed at local bars in downtown Riverside. Another participated in the Women’s March this year on what would’ve been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Monthly, they table at the Riverside Free Clinic where they connect with other university students and educate the local community on Planned Parenthood services. Overall, the Peer Advocates have participated in 13 community events during their time with us, and we could not be more grateful!

Below the Peer Advocates share about their experience in the program:


“Being part of the Peer Advocates Program has been educational and we made positive change, gained new skills, advocated for reproductive rights, assisted on providing health resources and made new friends. This program has a variety of educational topics on reproductive health, relationships, consent, and the services that Planned Parenthood offers...I educated every person I encountered on what Planned Parenthood does and assist on…I would recommend this program to others who are interested in medicine and want to advocate for health care rights. Not only will you get skills and education, but you’ll make great friends from the program.”


“The overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 made me realize how this action would only limit people’s access to proper and safe reproductive health care nationwide. Although I reside in California – where abortion is legal – I wanted to become involved in a movement that would allow me to provide inclusive health education and advocate for my community. As someone who attended public schools in California, I reflected on the lack of comprehensive sex education I received. This further motivated me to work toward finding opportunities to de-stigmatize topics on sexual and reproductive health with young adults…Through my participation, I have gotten the opportunity to learn about Planned Parenthood’s services, birth control methods, STIs, reproductive anatomy, the importance of boundaries and consent in healthy relationships, and more. I have been able to introduce these topics to young adults and students within Riverside County at tabling events for health and resource fairs, conferences, and other community events…I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone who is curious to learn more, interested in educating and connecting with their community, and determined to make a difference toward health (and health care) equity!”

Know Someone Who Would Enjoy This Program?

We invite college students in Western Riverside to join the Peer Advocates Program. Please reach out to [email protected] to apply.





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