Peer Leaders and REACH Staff Attend Break Up Summit

On July 26, two REACH staff members and four peer leaders (three new, one returning) from the Waltham High School PAVE (Peers Against ViolencE) Program attended the eighth annual Break-Up Summit at Simmons College. This year’s theme was “Chase your goals not a post” and was about break ups and social media. Waltham High PAVE is a peer leadership program coordinated by REACH’s Youth Education Specialist focused on promoting healthy relationships and preventing dating violence. The Break-Up Summit is a day-long event hosted by Start Strong, a peer leadership program run through the Boston Public Health Commission. The purpose of the Summit is to create conversations among teens about relationships and how to have healthy break ups.

Participants went to “Break Up 101” workshops, which were co-facilitated by Start-Strong Peer Leaders. Attendees then had conversations about different types of relationships as well as the impact any kind of break up can have on the people involved.

The program also featured a skit with a humorous take on relationships: a game show where 3 (fake) couples competed for the title of #relationshipgoals. The actors in one couple pretended to be in an unhealthy relationship, another portrayed a healthy relationship and the third portrayed a relationship where the focus is all about making your relationship look good on social media instead of on the actual relationship.

There were learning opportunities for adult attendees as well. REACH’s Child and Adolescent Therapist attended sessions on “Trauma and Social Media” and “Revenge Porn.” They learned about the current laws around sexting and proposed legislation which would offer educational diversion programs for teens.

Feedback from our students who attended was positive. They said they really liked the workshops because the teens who led them were nice. One of them went to a workshop on “When to End It” and later shared a handout they received on “dealbreakers” and how to know when to end a relationship. REACH’s Youth Education Specialist said, “We take them because it’s an opportunity for them to connect with teens and be at a Summit with a bunch of teens that focuses on healthy break ups and healthy relationships. The Break Up Summit is also cool because all of the workshops are completely youth designed (by the Start Strong Program of the Boston Public Health Commission).”

REACH Staff and Peer Leaders from Waltham High at this year’s Break Up Summit

To learn more about REACH’s work with teens to promote healthy relationships and prevent dating violence, click here.