Full transparency – this is a straight up fundraising blog post for our Peer Education/Sexual Health Education program, BUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS PAGE, please know it was written by one of our Peer Educators Lily. Lily is truly an incredible young person and we really hope you will take a minute to listen to her, even if you don’t intend to give today. She is brave to write this letter to you, and we hope her words fill you with both determination and hope for a better tomorrow. Thank YOU for also caring deeply and acting so bravely!

If you have already given to support Lily and all the Peer Educators, THANK YOU so much!!! You should be so proud – you are literally changing lives for the better. Cheers to YOU, you little social justice wizard chipmunk!

 

Dear amazing Bridgercare supporter,

 

Hi, I’m Lily and I’m a Peer Educator. I am writing to you today because I am really worried about some of my friends and other teens at my school.

I remember in middle school, one of my friends told me you couldn’t get an STI if you had sex in water.

During my freshman year, I overheard a boy in my English class telling his buddy that drinking Mountain Dew lowers your sperm count.

This year, I listened to a Speech and Debate teammate tell their best friend that if she just jumps up and down after having sex, she won’t get pregnant.

For many of my friends and peers, sex ed in their classroom is the only time they learn about birth control. It’s when they hear ways to stay safe and healthy when they do become sexually active. It might be the only place they get a lesson about what a healthy relationship looks like.

But this year, that classroom might be closed.

There are so many unknowns surrounding how schools will reopen. I know these are incredibly stressful and complicated times for everyone, especially our local students and their teachers. As a result, sex education is at the bottom of the priority list for our overwhelmed school districts.

 

I need you to understand how critically important sexual health education is right now, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If students don’t get accurate information now, it could have consequences that affect them for the rest of their lives.
Without access to comprehensive sex education, I believe more of my peers will experience an unplanned pregnancy, get an STI, or will become trapped in an unhealthy relationship.

It doesn’t have to be that way. But I need your help.

During this pandemic, young people in crisis may not have the support they need. Decisions that we make in our teen years can determine the trajectory of our entire lives. That’s scary to think about, especially if we haven’t gotten the quality sexual health education we all deserve — education that’s honest, comprehensive, and supportive.

Even though we don’t know what the school year has in store for us, Bridgercare’s Peer Education team is hard at work doing virtual education and outreach to make sure our local teens aren’t left on their own.

We need you to make this online education come to life. Virtual education and outreach is more time consuming and expensive than teaching in person. We need you to make sure our most vulnerable teens don’t slip through the cracks.

If our government refuses to fund sex education and our schools can’t prioritize and support it, then that leaves only YOU to make sure it continues.

Bridgercare’s Peer Education program costs $45,000 a year and we have a significant shortfall of income due to the pandemic. We need you to make sure sexual health education and Peer Educators don’t disappear from your community, which desperately needs them.

For $25, you make sure that the 21 Peer Educators meet weekly via Zoom to learn and brainstorm new ways to reach their peers.

For $110, you make it possible to create an online lesson on birth control.

For $225, you provide training for Peer Educators so they can recognizing signs of intimate partner violence and ways to offer support.

For $850, you will cover the cost of one weekly Teen Clinic during the pandemic, which is the main way our Peer Educators refer their peers to Bridgercare for free, confidential healthcare.

 

I need to continue educating my peers and local high school students throughout the region. Without an in-person sexual education option, virtual lessons and outreach are more important than ever before.

Thank you for being there for me and all our local teens. Sex education is often seen as controversial, but you know that education is power.

If you make a gift to our Peer Education team by September 15th, you ensure that I can keep teaching other teens and that high quality sexual health education is the norm rather than the exception in our community. You have the chance to change lives (including mine!) and I hope you will show me what is possible if we all band together.

Your fan,