Teen PEP


from the @hcteenpep instragram page

Every winter students going into their junior year are given the opportunity to apply for Teen PEP. Some students have a good idea of what the program is all about having participated in their workshops during freshman year, but others don’t know about the program. Teen Prevention Education Program (Teen PEP) is made up of a group of high school juniors and seniors who educate younger students about healthy decision making. When outsiders look in on our program, they often think that all we do are workshops for the freshmen every once in a while, but we are so much more than that. In this class, you are given the information, communication skills, and confidence you need to be a successful peer educator and leader. We combine having fun with learning about prevalent issues we may face as teenagers and how to approach them. 


In Teen PEP, students are trained to facilitate workshops that address unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, homophobia reduction, dating violence, sexual harassment, and more. When we aren’t prepping for workshops, we spend a lot of time doing activities that strengthen the bonds we have with our classmates. We quickly become a very tight-knit group as we have many opportunities to talk to everyone in the class while participating in fun games and discussions. We also like to go on mindfulness walks and embrace the outdoors when the weather permits. In this class, you will learn how to be a role model along with a successful facilitator. 


A fun aspect of the program is the inclusion of many unique skits that we perform in our workshops on the different subjects we speak about. We get to choose our roles for the workshop so if you aren’t a big fan of acting, you can do something more behind the scenes in order to help out. Running the skits can be entertaining and full of passion, but they also build our confidence and public-speaking skills so we gain so much from participating in them. We also help out with creating educational bulletin boards around the school along with designing our creative t-shirts every year. Although our Among Us shirts went out of style before we even received them, they always gave us a good laugh and will be something we will never forget. Finally, we put a large emphasis on being mentors for not just the freshmen, but for our younger Teen PEP members. At the beginning of the year we have a fun process of being put into “families” of two senior and two junior members. As seniors, we act as role-models for the juniors and always encourage and show them how to be great peer educators. Overall, we cover a wide range of topics and participate in many fun activities in this course and the environment is always enjoyable and relaxing. 


Why should you apply? When you join Teen PEP you will meet a group of people who will become like a second family to you. The support and love you feel in that class are unmatched and you will always have people to turn to in times of need. It is also a great escape from core classes (and you get to skip PE). When we were preparing for our first-ever freshmen workshop junior year, I have to admit that I was skeptical of whether the kids would care at all about what we were going to teach them. Contrary to what I had thought, they were very attentive and thought the skits were amusing. Hearing the positive feedback gave us that boost of confidence that we were making a difference in our school community, and it was the best feeling ever. I didn’t really know what to expect going into the program my junior year, but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences with the memories I have made in my time at Hunterdon Central. As I move into the end of my senior year, I only have a few workshops left with my class and that is devastating to me, but I’m glad to know I helped educate so many freshmen on essential topics. I could not recommend joining Teen PEP more as I can guarantee that you will grow so much through this program and make so many meaningful friendships that will carry with you throughout your future. Plus, you would have exclusive access to Captain Condom and the chance to possibly take over his legacy! Who wouldn’t want that opportunity?