Peer Health Exchange

Here’s a little of what it’s like to be a teen today:

  • 1 in 3 teenagers is sexually active, and of those teens,
  • 40% did not use a condom the last time they had sex
  • 1 in 5 teenagers binge drinks
  • 1 in 4 teenagers reports feeling consistently sad or hopeless

Studies have shown that teen pregnancy, substance abuse and untreated mental illness are associated with poor academic achievement, high school dropout rates and other diminished life opportunities.

Peer Health Exchange (PHE) looks to change these odds, giving teens the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions. PHE relies on other young adults to lead the way, training college students to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools that lack health education. Many come from the same schools and the same types of communities as the teens they work with, making the connections and the communications more relevant and impactful.

PHE launched in Boston in 2006. The Boston program has taken off, growing from 650 teenagers in its first year to more than 4,100 teenagers across greater Boston today. As a Boston principal commented recently, “Including PHE in a school’s broader education effort is ‘a no brainer.’ It is what schools in a big city should do to support the development of our young people.”

2021-2022 Metrics

It is a good way to create a sustainable health program for students. It gives an opportunity to connect with local college students and learn a bit more about themselves in a safe space.” 

- Testimonial from a Boston Principal

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