Thursday, November 20, 2008

Project HOPE Triple Crown: Part I

Willingboro, NJ---------The first part of the Triple Crown Project H.O.P.E.—the Teen HIV/AIDS Awareness Program was held on November 15th. The event was attended by over 200 students, sorority members, LINKS, and community residents. The day started with a light fare breakfast and poster board display. Students from the Burlington County Institute of Technology, under the guidance of the Health Occupation Instructor and Project Chair, developed and presented 39 post board presentations. A total of $600 will be distributed to the poster board contest winners.

These presentations centered on sexually transmitted diseases; they were colorful, imaginative, and most of all informative. Inspired by the students’ creativity the Burlington County Health Department requested that the poster board presentations be displayed until after World’s AIDS Day (December 1, 2008)!

During the day, the teens were entertained by singing, a skit, and dancing by the following groups respectively Faith in Action, the Willingboro High School Show Choir, and The Making Visions Possible Group also from Willingboro High School.

The HIV/AIDS prevention/awareness message was conveyed by engaging the teens in Girls Only, Guys Only and Parent Only panel discussions. These panels were thought provoking and educational; they also stressed the need to improve communication between teens and parents. Furthermore, the students were able to ask questions to a well-rounded panel of experts in the areas of HIV Prevention, Teen-Parent Communication, OB/GYN Health, Nursing, HIV/AIDS Advocacy, and Peer Mentoring. The students overwhelmingly enjoyed this format as evidenced by high marks on the program evaluation. But what most stands out about this event was the fact that 10 teens were tested for HIV. The HIV-Testing Van Staff stated that if they had gotten half of that number they would have been satisfied. So we are pleased that we were able to press upon their hearts & minds the necessity of KNOWING THEIR STATUS! Thus making this an Exceedingly Successful Program!

Thank you to our partners: Epsilon Upsilon Omega, Zeta Sigma, The Rancocas Valley Chapter of the LINKS, Inc., The City of Trenton-Department of Health and Human Services, The Burlington County Partnership for Healthy Adolescents, and Willingboro Township! And most of all thanks to the committee for helping to provide an environment that encouraged the teens to talk freely and learn!

(Taken from the Pi Mu Omega Sister to Sister Newsletter)

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