By Laura Perkins, MLS | October 23, 2019
Project Editor, ETR
What happens when you have a problem with a condom? Are there some ways to prevent condoms from slipping or breaking in the first place? Is there anything you can do if you’re worried about getting pregnant or getting an STD? Where are the instructions for that?
By Elizabeth Jarpe-Ratner, PhD, MPH, MST | October 16, 2019
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
Many prominent sex education advocates and organizations, including Advocates for Youth and ETR, have called for sex education that is inclusive of LGBTQ+ identities. We know that LGBTQ+ students in schools with inclusive curricula are more likely to report a greater sense of belonging in school as well as a lower risk of depression.
A recent study in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) aimed to examine how a program designed to be inclusive was being experienced by young people, what additional supports are needed by teachers, and what steps can be taken to ensure all students experience sexual health education as inclusive of LGBTQ+ identities.
By Danae Verba, BS, SWA | October 9, 2019
REACH Coordinator, LSS Independent Living Services
Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (LSS), through a partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health, offers a complete range of sexual health education services to communities across the state of South Dakota. I have the amazing opportunity to be one of the individuals that coordinates this work. SRAE, or Sexual Risk Avoidance Education, is the federal designation for abstinence-based education programs, and PREP, or Personal Responsibility Education Program, is the federal designation for programs that cover both abstinence and contraception. At LSS, we see SRAE and PREP as partners, not competitors.
By Cara Silva, MPH | October 1, 2019
Director of Programs, ETR's YTH Initiative
Digital communication has disrupted the ways we socialize, communicate, and—let’s face it—how we function. Gone are the days where a check-in with a friend was a knock at the door or a telephone call. It’s now likely a quick text or a thumbs-up “like” on a social media post. This new way of communicating has also contributed to how we meet, flirt, and date people to whom we are attracted. Youth in particular are turning to online spaces to build community and explore sexual relationships, particularly in regions where access to peers is limited.
By Jennifer Geisler | September 24, 2019
Program Coordinator, ETR
Tobacco prevention in Indian Country is different. Every tribe is unique, and programs need to be tailored tribe by tribe. California has 109 tribal nations, so keeping programs relevant to each tribe is a big task. Respect for elders and commitment to youth play a vital role in any of our tobacco-related messaging. It is also important to acknowledge and honor the role of sacred tobacco in tribal life.
In California, we have an exciting new state tobacco prevention grant that addresses these issues.
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | September 17, 2019
Elizabeth Taylor started her AIDS activism in the late 1980’s. She was watching friends fall tragically ill from a preventable disease, and she wasn’t seeing an appropriate response. She leveraged her celebrity and her fierce determination and took action.
I actually have something in common with Elizabeth Taylor.
By Pamela Anderson, PhD | September 12, 2019
Senior Research Associate, ETR
I literally love this book! I think everyone should read it. Shafia Zaloom is offering a unique new resource, and it’s fabulous.
I’m a developmental psychologist and researcher specializing in adolescent romantic relationships. That means I’ve seen plenty of books for parents and educators on how to have conversations with teens about sex and relationships. There are some great resources out there—and this is one of my new favorites for a number of reasons.
By Shafia Zaloom | Setpember 10, 2019
Health Educator, Urban School, San Francisco
When talking about sexuality with adolescents, it's often easier to get the message across when you take the sex out of it. This is counterintuitive, I know. So here’s a story, a classroom activity and some examples of classroom discussions with my class that explain the concept.
By Suzanne Schrag | September 5, 2019
Editor/Project Manager, ETR
An insight from a recent training: I’ve been writing a series of blog posts on the key skills for health literacy outlined in the National Health Education Standards (NHES). I’ve looked at how ETR’s HealthSmart program addresses six of these skills: Analyzing Influences, Accessing Resources, Interpersonal Communication, Decision Making, Goal Setting and Advocacy.
But, for some reason, a post around skill number seven—Practicing Health-Enhancing Behaviors—has been harder for me to conceptualize and write. A recent experience suddenly gave me a new perspective on how to think and talk about this important component of a comprehensive health education program.
By Chloe Sorensen | September 3, 2019
Founder, Youth United for Responsible Media Representation
When I was a student at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, there was a youth suicide cluster in our community. By the time I graduated, I had lost five of my peers, including a close friend. Overwhelmed by grief and fear and unsure of how to move forward, I sought a way to channel my pain into action.
Halfway through my sophomore year, I found myself speaking at school board meetings and in other forums, advocating for the needs of students.
By Taryn Gal, MPH, CPH, CHES and Brittany Batell, MPH, MSW | August 28, 2019
Executive Director (TG) and Program and Engagement Manager (BB), MOASH
There has been an amazing push for greater inclusivity in sex education in recent years. The field offers programs that are more inclusive for LGBTQ+ youth, for survivors of trauma, and for youth with learning differences or developmental disabilities. We make these efforts because we are committed to creating a learning environment where all identities and choices are honored.
That’s why it’s also important for us to be sure we are creating welcoming, inclusive and effective sexuality education for expectant and parenting youth (EPY).
By ETR | August 21, 2019
David Torres is one of ETR’s great data wranglers. This means he spends a lot of his time making sure the raw data collected on his projects is clean and consistent before running analyses on it. “That’s actually about 80% of my work on a project,” he explains. “The analysis is the fun part, but the cleaning is the most important. If you start with inaccurate data, you get inaccurate interpretations.”
By Leslie Ferreira, MPA | August 14, 2019
Training and Outreach Manager, ETR
You’ve heard the adage, “Youth are leaders of tomorrow.” But truthfully, young people are leaders today. Our youth are stepping into their power like never before and demanding the space to make their voices heard. As adults, it’s our responsibility—and our privilege—to seek, validate and lift their voices in tangible and genuine ways.
By Eleanor Hayden | August 8, 2019
Research Assistant, ETR
Have you ever wanted to increase stakeholder engagement in your research? Or introduce participatory data analysis to your work? If you have, a data party might be for you!
I recently attended a webinar on data parties presented by Kylie Hutchinson at Community Solutions Planning & Evaluation. I learned how to host a data party as well as the potential benefits they can provide to everyone involved, from researchers to evaluators to community stakeholders. Here are some key take-homes.
By ETR | August 1, 2019
Emma Schlamm’s got activism in her blood. Born and raised in New York City, she shares a birthday with both Malcom X and Ho Chi Minh. Following her urban upbringing, she chose a small town community for college—Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the heart of Amish country. “This was a fascinating experience for someone with a big-city background,” she recalls, “and it fueled my interest in learning about other cultures and communities.”
By Chris Wilson-Smith & Michael Everett, MHS | July 25, 2019
HIV/Sexual Health Trainer (CW-S) & Project Coordinator (ME), ETR
How do we celebrate the innovative spirit of youth? How do we encourage young people's creative leadership and put it to work to solve real-world problems? How do we leverage youth interests and abilities in technology to amplify their power?
ETR’s YTH Initiative is delivering a mentorship program that will do all of these things. Introducing Project LIYT (Leadership + Innovation + Youth + Technology)!
By ETR | July 23, 2019
Bhupendra Sheoran jumped into the health-tech arena early. Not to build ways for health care systems keep to keep better track of medical records or billing. Not to build programs that persuade health care providers to use iPads during patient visits. Rather, to build ways to support transformation and empowerment in communities, both locally and globally. We are delighted that Sheoran was invited to speak at the recent TEDxSantaClaraUniversity event.
By Vignetta Charles, PhD & Bhupendra Sheoran, MD, MBA | July 17, 2019
CEO (VC) and Vice President of Global Development (BS), ETR
We are beyond thrilled about the recent merger of ETR and YTH. Of course, a huge amount of practical footwork needed to be done. There are challenges, some anticipated and some not. There is discovery and confusion. Adjustments must be made.
But when we take a moment, take a breath, and think about where we are and how we see the road ahead, our overarching feeling is…excitement!
By Narinder Dhaliwal, MA | July 10, 2019
Director of ATOD, ETR
We are natural advocates, those of us in the public health world. We talk to our children about tobacco. We encourage our family members to use sunscreen. We work every day to promote the health of our communities. Educating our elected representatives is a logical next step, given the advocacy we practice every day of our lives.
ETR’s ATOD team (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) recently participated in California’s Capitol Information & Education (I&E) Days.
By ETR | June 26, 2019
Effective design communication is central to ETR’s mission. Our projects and products communicate health concepts so people can obtain the information, skills and opportunities they need to lead healthy lives. In fact, that’s language lifted directly out of our mission statement.