In mid-to-late February, applications will open for students to apply for Kenyon’s new Peer Health Education team in the 2024-25 academic year. Drawing on their own experiences as Kenyon students, Peer Health Educators will be tasked with the creation and implementation of events to promote wellness on campus, with oversight from professional staff at the Cox Health and Counseling Center. Potential events may include partnering with Community Advisors to bring education to the residence halls, events in Peirce Dining Hall or inviting speakers to talk about mental health.
“The Peer Health Educators will be charged with outreach programs and events on a variety of wellness topics that impact Kenyon students, and they inform and empower students on their own wellbeing,” Interim Director of Wellness and Associate Director of Health Promotion Holly Levin wrote in an email to the Collegian.
According to Levin, who led a similar program at Boise State University, the creation of peer-educated wellness initiatives has been a long-standing goal for the College. “We learned of the grant opportunity through the Ohio Department of Higher Education this past semester. This allowed for funding to get the program started, and we are pleased that they saw the value of a program that utilizes student leadership and collaboration,” she wrote. “We know that students trust and engage with their peers, and the impact of them educating and empowering each other can be powerful.”
After submitting their application, students will be selected in April and offered a spot on the Peer Education Team for the 2024-25 academic year. These students will attend training before the start of the year to be certified through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Certified Peer Educator program. Peer Health Educators will be paid to work roughly 10 hours per week.
“We are looking for people who are dedicated to student wellness and have strong creativity and communication skills. Starting next year, be on the lookout for programs and events!” Levin wrote.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education will fund the new program over the next two years, through a grant of nearly $70,000. “With our strategic plan calling out health and wellness as a priority, this is one component of many driving that mission forward,” Levin wrote.