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Peer Challenge
Cape May County, NJ
Atlantic County, NJ
Cumberland County, NJ
(609) 861-2351

Alyssa Sullivan, our own youth commit 2 character  educator volunteer is once again competing for Miss New Jersey this June.. Congratulations Alyssa, and best wishes to you in your efforts towards becoming Miss NJ.

In an effort to curb teen pregnancy and STD rates, the state of New Jersey has granted federal Title V funding to programs that help youth postpone sexual activity and avoid other risk taking behaviors. Peer Challenge has been serving schools and youth since 1998 and has maintained a proven track record of success in reducing teen pregnancy and STD/STI rates with its interactive, multifaceted program designed to empower adolescents to live a healthy and focused lifestyle. Peer Challenge is free of charge and is available to the youth in Cape May and the surrounding counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Cumberland.

The term “safe sex” is actually a myth. Broken hearts can  cause lifelong scars.  Unplanned pregnancies can ruin your dreams and force many teens to drop out of school and live on incomes below the poverty level. STI's cause pain, sterility, cancer, and death. Condoms provide far less protection than most people think offering only risky risk reduction. Don’t risk your life and your future on a piece of latex. The only "safe sex" is to "save" sex until marriage and remain faithful to your partner.

While the highly successful Peer Challenge assembly program, which uses powerful hands-on demonstrations to illustrate the benefits of delaying sexual activity and expose STD myths, is still available, Peer Challenge has evolved into a versatile 6 component program and schools and youth groups are invited to tailor a program to meet their schedules.

Classroom Instruction: The nationally acclaimed, YES YOU Can! curriculum provides medically accurate information and practical training promoting the postponement of sexual activity. It fulfills the New Jersey state mandated AIDS Prevention Act, meets the majority of the health core curriculum standards, and dovetails with many of the character education requirements. Lessons are replete with upbeat, enjoyable activities conveying helpful strategies for developing goals and establishing boundaries, understanding the influences of peers, media, alcohol/drugs on teen sexual activity, and discovering the benefits of personal responsibility and postponing sexual activity or returning to inactivity. Each lesson is designed to give student the important building blocks of character that lead to a healthy future through smart decision making. Parent message boards serve as a catalyst for family discussions.

Peer Challengers: Since studies indicate a strong correlation between the amount of contact hours with students and program success, students will have the opportunity to become Peer Challengers by participating in additional after-school sessions which reinforce the program objectives in an entertaining game format complete with refreshments. The after-school sessions provide an important venue for students to enjoy the encouragement and support of their peers and caring adults.



Peer Mentors: Studies indicate that young people are more likely to listen to and thus change attitudes and behaviors if they believe the person delivering the message is like them and deals with similar issues and concerns. Therefore, Peer Challengers are encouraged to become Peer Mentors and serve as credible sources of information and role models promoting positive pressure amongst their peers. All trained Peer Mentors assist the classroom teachers and youth group leaders, play an active role in the after-school clubs and community events, and contribute to the abstinence media campaign.




Parent Workshops: Parents should not buy into the myth that they lose their influence when their children enter adolescence. In fact, research shows that kids who avoid unhealthy risky behaviors have been greatly influenced by their parents. The "Let's Talk About Sex" parent workshops empower parents with practical help, encouragement and skills to keep their children safe in a world that bombards them with sex.


Teacher In-service: A two hour in-service with state continuing education credit, "Teen Sexual Health- A Whole School Approach" is provided to the school staff. The current landscape of teen sexuality is presented along with the resources enabling educators to have a dramatic impact on student health choices.

Community Collaboration: Peer Challenge has spent the past thirteen years combining talents and resources with other agencies to provide the youth of our community with the guidance and support enabling them to successfully transition into adulthood and a healthy, happy future with rewarding opportunities. Peer Challenge has taken every opportunity to promote the abstinence message through attendance at fairs, conferences, and youth events. Our TV and theater commercials have helped to promote the abstinence message to a media savvy audience. 



What Our Student Participants Are Saying

"I was absolutely impressed by this program. It was fun, but it also made me think about my choices. I had no idea about all of the diseases out there either. The hands-on demonstrations will stick out in my mind. It was awesome!!

"Then most valuable thing for me was learning the difference between love and infatuation. Now I know if a guy wants me just for sex, or if he's actually committed to me. Everything I've learned will help me make better choices and have a brighter future."

"Condoms don't always work. I thought they kept you safe, but instead they don't protect you from all STD's. You can still get HPV from skin to skin contact" and they don't protect your heart."

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