When teens are in trouble or just need someone to talk to, they often turn to their friends or peers for help. Often, their friends are the first ones to suspect if they are contemplating suicide, using drugs, or struggling with the decision to have sex. It is vital that the people they go to for guidance have the knowledge and skills to effectively assist them in a positive manner.
Building on the premise that teens talk and listen to other teens, the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) at University Medical Center of El Paso’s Women's Health Services was initiated as a teen pregnancy prevention program in 1990. The initial focus of the program and its training curriculum was on sexual responsibility and the prevention of unintended pregnancies. The program has evolved into a 14-week prevention program for many issues that teens have to deal with on a daily basis. These include:
- Decision Making/Peer Pressure
- Healthy Relationships/Respect & Dignity
- Sexual Assault
- Tobacco/Alcohol Abuse
- Drinking & Driving
- Talking to your Parents about Sex/Sexuality
- Sexual Responsibility
- Birth Control
- Teen Pregnancy
The mission of TAB is to enhance our focus on teen issues, concerns, and function as representatives of El Paso’s teen community. TAB members act as liaisons between their peers, the community at large, and social service agencies. Our goal is to bring a message of responsible decision-making, positive peer pressure and effective community to the teenagers of El Paso.
This program has been designed to educate and train teens to address issues as peer advisors and resource guides in their respective schools and neighborhoods.
- Seventh and eighth-grade students
- Committed to the goals of the program
- Maintain at least a C average in school
- Parental consent and support
- Access to transportation to and from training sessions
- Must agree to training schedule
All area middle school students are offered the opportunity to apply to the program. Contact is made with the students through their respective schools’ principal, counselor(s), teachers or other TAB members.