Richard Brickus, 27
Brian Cox, 27
I am currently working for Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) as a Procurement Administrator in the Supply Management Department and as a Reservist in the United States Army.
The PEER Education program facilitated by Danielle Hairston-Green was by far one of the best PEER programs I have ever been a part of. It was an extremely rewarding experience to teach and empower young people of my community on such a variety of topics that young people deal with every day. It was always a trusting, judgement free environment where everyone was made to feel comfortable to ask questions and discuss personal issues. I still share the information I learned in the program with anyone who will listen to me today. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to be a PEER Educator.Type your paragraph here.
“I am because you are, because you are I am…”
I can think of a few things in my life that have had such a profound and lasting impact as my participation in the Peer Education program. I must admit that when I was first approached with the opportunity to take part in the program, I was excited about the prospect of getting paid to talk about the things that my friends and I whispered about all the time anyway. I had no idea then that I was getting more than a job but an education and experience with effects that would last a lifetime. More than the paycheck, I value the memories and the lessons that I learned. Lessons that I have carried with me into adulthood. Lessons that have helped to shape the way I view myself and my place in the world.
Not only did I learn the importance of speaking on the issues that people shy away from and try to sweep under the rug, I also learned that my voice matters. In a society that constantly overlooks the voice and the issues that impact young people- Peer Education empowered youth to speak out and gave us a forum to do so. The program taught me that I have the ability to positively change lives and my community simply by sharing knowledge. I learned that young people can make a difference and more importantly I have a responsibility to make a difference. Peer Education taught me that my fate and my future are inextricably intertwined with that of my peers, my community, and my generation. And as such I have a responsibility to educate and impart knowledge, because knowledge is power and by empowering those around me, I help to create a better, brighter future for us all.
Phebe West, 25
Penn State University
The level of impact that Mrs. Danielle Hairston Green peer education programs has had on my life is immeasurable. Being a peer educator allowed me to be equipped with the knowledge and wisdom necessary to be a leader for my peers and an advocate for adolescent health education. It shaped and molded my career path and helped define my purpose as a young adult. The large amount of public speaking experience I received while in the programs led me to pursuing a bachelors degree in Communication Art's and Sciences from Penn State University in 2010.
Participating in the peer education programs has provided me with the opportunity to teach, empower, and present workshops to thousands of young people since 2005, across the state of Pennsylvania on topics such as: STD/pregnancy prevention, drugs and alcohol, self esteem, peer pressure and healthy relationships. We received so much exposure: like PA Goes to Washington which provided opportunities for us to speak to legislature about laws that impacted our education, and the hundreds of hours of training and teaching experiences we received that prepared us for college life and adulthood.
Needless to say, I am still reaping the benefits of being a peer educator and I am forever grateful and in debt to Mrs. Green and all of her hard work. She truly was and still is a role model for me. I had the pleasure and the honor of briefly taking her place as director of the O2T program when she first moved to Texas, & if I've become half the leader she's been, I know I'm doing a great job!
Clark Atlanta University
Valonda Harris, 29
Raechelle Sawyers, 27
I am first generation college student who has defeated the odds and achieved many goals. I remember being introduced to the Peer Education program by mentors who I looked up to, it seemed like a great opportunity and I was surrounded by people who I think had the best interest for me; most of whom knew my life situation.
I grew up without parental figures consistently in my life. Both my mother and father were on drugs and therefore I was raised by my grandmother. My grandmother taught me how to be very independent providing me with the nurturing that I needed. Despite her nurturing, as I got older I got into some trouble and soon realized that I could not continue to upset my grandmother; I wanted to make her proud. I took advantage of opportunities like peer education and mentorship to guide me into a positive direction in life.
I graduated from Harrisburg High School in 2006, was accepted into college, received over 60,000 in scholarships towards my undergraduate experience, and excelled. Although, my post- secondary education journey began with the passing of my father, who was diagnosed with AIDS, that did not stop my dream of becoming the first person in my family to graduate from college. I was voted University Queen, given the title of Miss Johnson C. Smith University 2009-10, and also became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., (a nationally recognized service based organization) among many other achievements including resident advisor for the freshmen dorm and mentor for Student Support Services.
When undergrad life ended in May 2010, I decided to attend Columbia University, Teachers College in January of 2011. I became the first person from my family to receive a Master’s degree in May of 2013. Currently I am teacher in Bronx, New York where I enjoy making a difference in student’s lives.
Christian Morris, 22
Elon University School of Law
"I was formerly a member of peer education program facilitated by Danielle Hairston-Green. Peer education served as a valuable tool to youth and adults in our community, and I feel it could do the same in others. There are many benefits including meeting other youth that are like you wanting to make a positive impact on the community, freely discuss with your peers about issues that has an impact on other youth, and the opportunity to help others deal with common issues especially those topics that adults don't like talking about. Peer education creates a trusting atmosphere where advice and facts can be shared."