By Vincent Ly
As I walked in the hallway one day after school last fall, I looked up and saw an advertisement on the wall that said I should join YEAH. It was like it was speaking directly to me. The advertisement required us to go to the Health Center and sign up for an appointment to be interviewed. I was very interested not only because I wanted to do presentations to the Current Life classes, but also I thought I would learn a lot.
YEAH is an acronym for Youth Educating and Advocating for Health and it is a peer education program started by the Alameda School Based Center, known as Tri-High. This program is for people to study important health topics among our peers and also to encourage youth to talk about important issues such as teen dating violence awareness.
After the interview process, I received a letter saying that I was chosen to be part of YEAH. I was ecstatic because I had always wanted to be part of a school activity, and this one finally seemed like a good fit for me.
Shortly after that, I went to my first YEAH meeting where I was introduced to the nine other members. Some were returning to the group. Others were new like I was. We cover the range of grades with members from freshmen to seniors. Though I am the only male member, we are a diverse group in many ways.
The YEAH group meets once a week after school to discuss issues related to health. We are responsible for showing up every Tuesdays after school. If we are late or absent, there are consequences. Also, there is a stipend that the Health Center pays to all 10 YEAH members.
Julie Gardner, who is the YEAH instructor, leads the plan every Tuesdays for two hours. We in the group learn about health issues that matter to young people, and then we go out and educate our peers about these topics.
YEAH is very active here at school doing things such as creating posters and organizing events. These events take place during lunch and they are very beneficial because we educate students about important topics that many our peers have gone through or still may be going through today.
I have enjoyed being part of YEAH so far. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and teaching others, especially making presentations to Current Life classes. This is fulfilling to me because I am finally part of a school activity and also, I met the most amazing people who I consider friends.
The Teen Health Center is always available to students for counseling, physicals and many other services. Students should know that YEAH is an active program and we are here to inform students that we are here for you if you need any answers, support or advice.