Teens who participate in the H.E.L.P program are empowered to become educators and leaders, as the program culminates in a self-chosen project. Participants in H.E.L.P. build self-esteem which, along with the knowledge of how to protect themselves and others, will help prevent the spread of HIV. Participants are also given opportunities to take part in conducting workshops and conferences in schools and community centers on a variety of topics such as HIV/AIDS Awareness and maintaining healthy relationships. Upon completion of this 25 session program, participants receive certification as a Peer Empowerment Leader and are provided opportunities to be actively involved in peer leadership activities.
Our 25 week training provides teens with important skills such as acquiring values, being nonjudgmental, proper communication, along with the correct facts on HIV, AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and risk reduction. The program reduces the risk that they will make unhealthy choices for themselves based on incorrect or no information at all. This program is designed for youth to have an opportunity to explore their own thoughts, values and feelings among a group of their peers. It was designed to also teach youth simultaneously how to run workshops and trainings. This allows for the youth involved being able to explore their own self-identity while realizing they are not alone in their ideas and fears.
Participants will become comfortable with public speaking, running workshops, and making presentations. They will have increased self-esteem, and this will influence many areas of their life, INCLUDING PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE. Secondly, by educating others, they will have a greater influence to act as role models, hence making healthier choices about their own behavior, especially around their own sexual health.