the foundation of its groundbreaking “community in-reach” model.
Health People’s Peer Training is designed to give people with limited education and work experience the skills to succeed and to successfully deliver community health solutions. One of the nation’s oldest and most respected programs of its kind, Health People’s Peer Training program has attracted health officials from five continents, as well as from all over the U.S., to our South Bronx offices to learn more about starting peer programs in their own communities.
Health People’s Peer Educators must complete a rigorous 8- to 10-week training program, followed by a 6-month internship. During that time, time they are responsible for two or more educational activities per week, including:
Peers also participate in an ongoing, weekly support group to discuss what they are learning and the personal challenges they face.
Our peer educators are directly representative of their community and they reach, teach and inspire others to fight for better health.
Many of our peers are on public assistance, on parole, in drug recovery programs, or have a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes and/or are AIDS.
After the six-month internship, many peer educators secure full-time jobs. Others continue their dedicated mission as peer educators. Many are inspired to go back to school to complete their education. Three-quarters of Health People’s program staff began as peer educators.
“When I joined Health People as a Peer eight years ago, I was just out of drug recovery. Health People helped me move forward by teaching me how to help others through outreach and education. Since joining Health People, I’ve earned my CASAC Certification, and I was just promoted to staff.”
“I grew up and have lived for over 40 years in the Millbrook housing project in the South Bronx. When I first came to Health People, I worked as a Peer Educator in AIDS prevention. Now I work in the Kids-Helping-Kids Mentoring Program. I’m really happy at how far I’ve come…and how far the kids have come, too.”
“I am grateful to Health People for all the doors they have helped open for me with the Peer Educator Training Program. If not for this program, I would not be where I am today.”