Reaction Blog: The Last Summer Leadership Institute Training for TORCH

This week was the last day of the Leadership Training Institute for the TORCH teens this summer. The kids are going on a break, the interns are leaving, and the directors are going on vacation right before the fall starts and the pandemonium of the peer education programs start for the coming semester. I seem to have been writing most of blog posts about the teens, but I have really enjoyed their company and learning from them has also been very valuable to me. Not only have I added this experience to my resume, but I have continued to learn more about other pregnancy prevention and youth development programs and how they work.

The TORCH program is very similar to the program I am currently working with. The Urban Health Plan, Inc. pregnancy prevention program is also a dual program for teens where youth development and education is incorporated into a clinical component of adolescent care. Unlike the TORCH program, the Urban Health Plan, Inc offers comprehensive and specialty adolescent care. That truly is the only difference between programs, however, the TORCH program is more peer lead and the teens have more control of what they teach. The Urban Health Plan, Inc. program is run by educators and mostly trained staff. We do have a peer education program, but they are not as widely used as the TORCH peer education program. But both programs have seemingly integral components that work well together when implemented.

For the last training session, the teens were able to actively engage in a jeopardy game about the recent health care reform changes made by President Obama. We focused on primary issues surrounding the debate – we focused on the changes surrounding women, children, and the elderly, Medicaid and Medicare, preventative measures, and other random facts about the “Obama Care” laws. What was interesting to note is that during the initial stages of research when we were preparing the questions for the game, many of the interns didn’t know about many of the changes that had recently taken effect. We received the same reaction from the teens as well- many of them didn’t even know what “Obama Care” was.

The teens seemed to enjoy the activity and had taken home with them some knowledge of the new health care reform act. Hopefully, we will continue to work with the teens later on.

Want to learn more about TORCH? Watch the YouTube video below!

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