Peer Educator Leadership Program
Free to Be’s Peer Educator Leadership Program has the power to significantly influence teens in a very positive way through the use of peer-to-peer education. It has been shown that peer educators have a level of trust and comfort with their peers that allowing for more open discussions of sensitive topics. Not only is this message more readily received through peer-to-peer education, but the Peer Educators themselves are empowered and supported to make healthy decisions and become positive role models to their peers.
Peer education leadership programs have been found to offer many benefits to adolescent peer leaders. Benefits gained from the program are often sustained and enhanced over time and the skills developed will be used for a lifetime. Our peer educators have reported an increased level of confidence, college and job readiness, comfort with public speaking, and overall commitment to Free to Be’s risk avoidance message.
Junior Peer Educators
Free to Be recruits, trains and mentors 7th and 8th-grade students to assist in teaching interactive lessons to their younger peers in 5th and 6th grade. These lessons include topics about building positive self-esteem, avoiding risk behaviors, building healthy relationships, recognizing and defying bullying, and responding to peer pressure. Junior Peer Educators attend monthly 1:1 mentor meetings with a member of Free to Be’s program staff, monthly socials, and participate in an annual training retreat.
Free to Be recruits, trains, and mentors 9th-12th-grade students to participate in Teen Panel Presentations throughout Sonoma County, sharing about the benefits of postponing sexual activity until marriage and the freedoms that come with this decision. Peer Educators attend monthly 1:1 mentor meetings with a member of Free to Be’s program staff, monthly socials, and participate in an annual training retreat.
My Life Program
My Life is a collection of curricula designed to address several aspects of social-emotional development in pre-teens and teens. This curriculum was designed in response to the increasing need for resources to help educate younger students on the importance of positive decision making and the impact that all decisions have on their future. My Life gives students the opportunity to build confidence at a young age so they are better prepared to avoid risk behaviors both now and during their teen years.
5th and 6th grade
My Life for 5th and 6th grade includes four interactive lessons, in-class worksheets, and take-home worksheets to complete with a parent, guardian or a trusted adult. My Life is co-taught by Free to Be’s young adult staff and Junior Peer Educators. The My Life lessons empower youth with knowledge, tools, motivation and support to build positive self-esteem, develop healthy relationships, respond appropriately and safely to bullying, make well-thought out decisions, respond to peer pressure, and navigate social media carefully.
7th and 8th grade
My Life for 7th and 8th grade is coming soon!
Teen Panel Presentation Program
The Free to Be Teen Panel is recommended for 7th-12th-grade students. The Teen Panel is often used to enhance a school’s comprehensive sexual health education program. The purpose of the presentation is to share the benefits and “freedoms” that can come from choosing to postpone sexual activity until marriage, as well as avoiding other high-risk behaviors. The Teen Panel is delivered in a peer-to-peer format by our high school age Peer Educators, who share their personal experiences with students. Delivering this message in a peer-to-peer format effectively communicates that delaying sex is a realistic option for all teens.
Additionally, this presentation provides information about healthy relationships, recognizing unhealthy relationships, dealing with peer pressure and understanding the possible consequences of teenage sexual activity. The consequences discussed include teen pregnancy, transmission of STDs and other non-physical consequences, such as emotional consequences.