10 reasons why you should be a PEEP

| July 2, 2021

Preventative Education and Empowerment for Peers, also known as PEEPs, aim to increase student awareness and knowledge on various college health and well-being topics. Organized and advised by the Center for Health Education and Well-Being (CHEW), PEEPs are trained to create health promotion programs, events, and health communication materials. Check out this list of reasons to get involved with PEEPs and use this form to apply to become a member today. All Hopkins, Peabody, and East Baltimore students can apply, including graduate students and remote learners. Applications are open until August 1.

1. You’ll become a Certified Peer Educator.

PEEPs members are trained through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) certified peer educator (CPE) training. The CPE training will increase your skills in peer education, behavior change, active listening, response and referral, bystander intervention, programming, and self-care. These skills are critical to the PEEPs work and are foundational for careers in the health and medical field.

2. You’ll expand your personal knowledge of health and well-being.

Our PEEPs members are trained throughout the academic year on the top health and well-being challenges Hopkins students face. These trainings include alcohol and other drugs, nutrition, body image, eating disorders, sexual well-being, emotional/mental well-being, and more. These trainings ensure PEEPs members are equipped with the knowledge and skills to foster health behavior change on campus.

3. You’ll be able network with other students who are passionate about health and well-being.

Students who join PEEPs are excited about health and well-being. As a member, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals who are just as enthusiastic about helping their peers with the varied aspects of college life. For me, being with other students interested in health and well-being resulted in long-lasting personal friendships. Our PEEPs members’ diverse backgrounds, areas of study, interests, and hobbies provide the foreground for a great networking experience where we not only learn about each other, but we also learn from one another.

4. You’ll have real conversations with Hopkins students regarding their well-being.

PEEPs members create programs, campaigns, and tabling events to educate students on specific well-being topics. During the programs, members have the opportunity to facilitate genuine conversations with their peers regarding challenges and struggles they have faced related to their health and well-being. For many PEEPs members, having group and individual conversations with their peers are the most rewarding parts of being peer health educator.

5. You’ll develop skills outside of the classroom.

PEEPs members are encouraged to build skills like public speaking and program planning and implementation. Being a PEEPs member provides the unique opportunity to implement the programs and changes you want to see. From communicating a nascent idea with fellow peer educators to watching students engage with that idea, PEEPs members have many opportunities develop skills that continue to have value long after graduation.

6. You’ll learn to be a social media expert.

If you are anything like me, you may find yourself completely overwhelmed and inexperienced when it comes to social media. Being in PEEPs has allowed me to develop the advantageous skill of constructing social media posts in new and creative ways. Developing social media posts from topics like sexual health to nutrition expanded both my knowledge of health and my (previously non-existent) digital artistic talent.

7. You’ll collaborate with other student organizations.

As PEEPs members, we find our best programs are the ones where we collaborate with other student organizations. Meeting and planning programs with other groups allows us to work with peers that are passionate about various topics. Health and well-being are exceedingly intersectional topics that are continually being applied in new and innovative ways. PEEPs members represent diverse interests and are therefore well-positioned to explore previously uncovered intersections between health and other student interests.

8. You’ll get public speaking opportunities.

PEEPs receive requests to facilitate well-being workshops from student organizations and faculty for courses. Workshops topics include gratitude, stress reduction, mindfulness, and holistic well-being. Although facilitating a workshop to a large student organization or course can be overwhelming at first, most PEEPs members leave the session feeling excited for the next opportunity! In addition, we refine our skills and become better peer educators and facilitators.

9. You’ll work with student health and well-being staff.

PEEPs members work closely with CHEW staff and other well-being professionals across campus. We not only get to learn from staff, but we also have opportunities to be included in focus groups to provide insights focused on improving student well-being.

10. You’ll have fun.

Being a PEEPs member comes with a lot of fun! From holiday-themed events to cooking classes to tabling outside the FCC, I have had a great time creating memories with my fellow PEEPs these past two years. Our events are not only tailored for communicating health information, but also for connecting with students in an enjoyable environment. As PEEPs, we aspire to build a campus environment around health and well-being that is welcoming and fun.

Molly Hutchison, Health Education Specialist and PEEPs Advisor, contributed to this article. For questions regarding the PEEPs application process, you can email Molly at mhutch12@jhu.edu.