Peer Health Exchange

Preventative health program in NYC/ SF schools

Peer Health Exchange (PHE) was founded in 1999 by six Yale undergraduates, who began teaching health workshops in New Haven public schools in order to fill the gap left by an underfunded, understaffed district health program. PHE train college student volunteers to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools that lack health education.

Childhood has helped PHE educate thousands of high school students on a comprehensive health curriculum which includes sexual and reproductive health, practicing thoughtful decision-making, learning to communicate effectively with family members and peers, and accessing health resources in the area. Integrated into the curriculum are group conversations, offering the students a safe space to discuss some of the more sensitive issues faced in daily life. This curriculum aligns with Childhood’s efforts in reducing childhood trauma and preventing unintended teen pregnancy by ensuring teenagers have knowledge and skills around sexual health, healthy relationships, and consent so that they can make informed and empowered decisions.

Childhood USA will continue to support the expansion of PHE’s behavioral health curriculum, increase the numbers of volunteers, establish new chapters at area universities and new sites (Staten Island, San Jose University) and adapt programs to serve young people during afterschool and out-of-school time with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.