Teen PEP Equals Better Choices

Teen PEP, also known as the Teen Prevention Education Program, is all about alcohol, drugs, and sex – and how to prevent them. The program recruits dedicated upperclassmen and trains them to understand dangerous situations so that they may help to teach underclassmen how to avoid them.

But not just anyone can become a Teen PEP member. Maria Buckley, as the leader of the program, has the responsibility of choosing students who are willing to set aside time from their busy schedule to study the different

Members of Teen PEP were actually surprised and pleased with how smart and educated the freshmen were.

topics and who are willing to help their underclassmen. The process to become a Teen PEP member is also rigorous. Prospective members have to go through both group and individual interview. For junior Raisa Choudhury this process was no sweat off her back.

“It was really fun and interactive. I enjoyed myself,” said Raisa, who was accepted as a Teen PEP member.

While being a Teen PEP member can be time consuming, the students of Teen PEP often have fun preparing skits about conversations that might take place in tough situations and then teaching their underclassmen.

“It’s fresh and the audience gets to be interactive and learn. It’s very energetic,” junior Jillian Salvadon said.

Before the students can give their talks to the underclassmen, however, they have to be trained in leadership and sexuality so they will be able to answer any questions the students will have. Then they hold their performances in the auditorium or in the library to discuss the important issues.

“The experience is good because it helps us connect with the freshman and vice versa,” junior Michelle Rios said.

In February 2014, Teen PEP members performed a skit titled “Later Baby” that focused on preventing pregnancy.

“There are two girls that go to a prom,” junior Karuth William explained. “One gets pregnant and has to drop out. Then the audience sees the harsh conditions of being a teenage mom,” he said.

The audience would be shown five different situations in which teens might not have access to a condom and the

I think that they understood the message that we were trying to get across and received valuable information from their peers.

solutions to the problem, three methods for preventing pregnancy, how to identify the location of the nearest clinic for help, and descriptions of three different ways a teenage pregnancy could negatively affect one’s life.

The freshman seemed to enjoy the experience and already knew quite a lot about the health topics. They were very involved with the presentation and were able to understand and follow along with the program.

“I think that they understood the message that we were trying to get across and received valuable information from their peers,” Ms. Buckley said. “Members of Teen PEP were actually surprised and pleased with how smart and educated the freshmen were,” she added.

All the training for the Teen PEP members paid off as well. Members not only went on a three-day retreat at the beginning of the year to bond with each and start learning different health topics, but also built their own relationships after weeks of practicing for their workshops that will continue throughout their high school years.