By Madison Altman, Dana Hall Class of 2016
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shadow and learn from Jessica Teperow, Director of Prevention Programs and Dani Patrick, Youth Education Specialist at REACH for the 10 day duration of my Senior Project. At my school we are given the option to complete a Senior Project during our last two weeks of school as opposed to going to classes. These projects can be in any field that interests us. I chose to do my project with REACH for numerous reasons.
At my school I am one of the heads of our Peer Education Club. Aside from being role models in our community and holding various events throughout the year, we teach health class to younger students. For seven weeks we are broken into pairs and teach grades six through nine. We teach various topics that circle back to consent, healthy relationships, dating violence, and sexual assault. Having taught classes centered these topics, I knew I was comfortable discussing these subjects and am eager to learn more.
One in four women will be sexually assaulted in their four years of college. This is why I hope to find a program like peer education where I can implement what I have learned at REACH and be a resource to my peers. Learning from Jessica and Dani allowed me to learn more tools that will help me support others in the future.
I feel that these are topics that can’t be stressed enough to young people who may have seen abusive behavior first hand, or may come in contact with it in the future. This idea relates to one of the reasons I am in awe of the REACH programs. Not only does reach address the preventative aspects of sexual assault by holding various workshops for children, teens, and adults, but they also have numerous support programs for those either currently in an abusive situation or a survivor of one.
I left each training or workshop with a deeper understanding of all the different aspects of abuse, trauma, and support. I am very lucky to have been able to work with Jessica and Dani this spring and further my understanding of domestic violence.