Teen Pep: The Newest Kind of Prep for Teens


As sexual education in America has been proven to be a rather unreliable and uncomfortable experience for many teens, educators have been prompted to ask: what if we allow teenagers to talk to other teenagers about sex?

Teen Pep, standing for Teen Prevention Education Program, is a program dedicated to instilling leadership skills in high school seniors and having them apply these newly acquired skills to inform younger peers about essential topics and issues.

Teen Pep has been an amazing experience that has taught me the importance of awareness.

— Olivia Dul

The program’s aim is for designated seniors to teach underclassmen about safe sex and other topics concerning sexual activity, such as pregnancy prevention, contraceptives, and how to use them, through organized workshops.

DMAE’s Teen Pep program has been directed by Maria Buckley for six years and has been part of the DMAE curriculum for 13 years.

Students with a GPA above 3.0 and who have no disciplinary issues are qualified to apply. The faculty receives the names and proceeds to provide Ms. Buckley with any valuable insight about the character of the applicant. An interview is also conducted, allowing Ms. Buckley to gather some additional information on the best candidates for the positions.

The first major activity that students participate in is a mandatory three-day retreat to Camp Bernie in Port Murray, New Jersey where they engage in team building exercises.

One of the introductory workshops was held in November and ran throughout the morning and afternoon. The class was divided into two with one group of underclassmen learning about core content subjects and the other performing a skit that revolved around the topic of sex and other scenarios relating to sex.

“Teen Pep is a great way for students to take an active role in the discussion surrounding sexual health,” senior Olivia Dul reflected. “It has been an amazing experience that has taught me the importance of awareness.”