BeHIP is Back

Alejandra Nogueira, Section Editor

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The Health Information Project, commonly abbreviated as HIP, is a South Florida-based organization that strives to teach high school students health education. HIP is currently in 55 schools across the county and has over 1,400 peer health educators, the high school junior and seniors trained to teach the classes. The program is based around a school poster campaign, discussion-based presentations, and the HIP website. After running for over eight years, the program has been a great resource to over 30,000 high schoolers.

HIP seeks to educate on subjects from a scientific point-of-view and avoids using scare tactics and other unscientific based tactics. It promotes a safe and respectful learning environment to all students involved and typically runs from October to February, consisting of eight sessions. These sessions include: Intro to HIP, Relationships Part 1, Relationships Part 2, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs, Nutrition, Exercise & Obesity, and How To Be Healthy. Each session includes videos and activities to reinforce topics taught by the peer health educators (PHE).

“I really wanted to join HIP because I see how many people in my life are succumbing to health issues and I really wanted to be able to counteract this, I want to show the new generation how to make better decisions in the future,” new PHE Nick Calzadilla stated.

HIP has been at TERRA for four years and impacted hundreds of TERRA student lives.

“We adopted [the program] because we think health education is important and is not really offered besides certain sections of personal fitness,” TERRA HIP sponsor Melissa Fernandez said.

TERRA junior Natalie Paz reflects on what HIP taught her during her freshman year, “It gave me more insight into things I only skimmed the surface of.”  These topics included how to deal with stress, how to maintain a good lifestyle, and the importance of healthy relationships.

Students are encouraged to go to the HIP website (www.behip.org) in order to access more information on the sessions and local neighborhood resources such as clinics.

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