Prevent and Prevail Featured on PrideSource.com!

Ypsilanti Peer to Peer Program Keeps Youth Informed, Safe

BY JASON A. MICHAEL

Statistics have shown that youth ages 13-29 have the highest HIV infection rate in Washtenaw County. In response, a group of young people ages 13-16 in Ypsilanti started a peer mentoring program, Prevent & Prevail, to offer an open exchange of ideas about sex, empowerment, drugs, and prevention for STDs and HIV.

“We found ourselves in the middle of that age range,” said Cleo Ku, 20, one of the original group members who helped start the program almost six years ago. “I was 15 at the time. We wanted to figure out how to combat that and teach our peers and ourselves how to protect ourselves.”

When Ku learned of the startling statistics he was attending educational sessions by way of Educate Youth, the non-profit arm of Dedicated to Make a Change facilitated by Gail Wolkoff at the Jim Toy Community Center in Ann Arbor.

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