Hey! We’re Khadijah & Sarah, the Annex’s Health Mentors!
What are Health Mentors and how are they different from clinic staff? Health Mentors work in collaboration with clinic staff, community organizations, and teachers. Clinic staff work specifically in the clinic, while the Health Mentors are embedded within the school, to be a constant resource and advocate for youth’s sexual and socio-emotional health.
We have the ability to help youth on all levels and areas of their lives. We can help them achieve their goals of better relationships within the community, with their peers, with their family, and with their teachers. Too often, young people do not have the opportunity to get any adult help navigating relationships. We meet youth where they’re at, without judgement, and with their best socio-emotional needs in mind. We allow them to dictate what is best for themselves.
Sexual health issues can & will have very positive or negative impacts on other areas of a young person’s life- this shines the light on that. Math is important, but so is sexual health. In fact, it may be even more important because these are life skills and topics that permeate all aspects of life for young people. If a young person is concerned about a problem they’re having with their parents or boyfriend or girlfriend, they’re probably not going to be able to pay attention in math class, anyway. We approach the Health Mentor model with the concept that youth need to have stability and safety in their lives before they can learn scholastically.
This is exactly the work we plan to do within the school system and with community organizations. We will work to equip our youth with the tools needed to navigate those impactful relationships.