The most central program to WEATOC is On the Road (OTR), in which young people are trained as Peer Educators to develop and disperse preventive health education information to their peers. This program enables youth to make healthy lifestyle choices. It stresses resource development, career and college preparation, job training, skill building and community access.

OTR is a set of activities that train, empower, and utilize a tightly bonded Corps of Peer Educators. They support each other in countless ways, related to the work and to personal needs and growth. A climate of creativity and hard work brings out a high level of positive energy among peer educators, no matter how different they are to begin with.

Recruiting

Each year we recruit new Peer Educator Trainees and work with veteran Peer Educators to create the Peer Educators Corps. We select not on experience or age, but rather on the aspirations, commitment, openness, and interests of interested youth.

Training

We initially train a larger group of youth, and from that group we select a Corps of Peer Educators.

Their training covers:

  • Violence
  • Nutrition
  • Sexual and Gender Identities
  • HIV/AIDS and STIs
  • Substance Abuse
  • Peer Pressure
  • Theater Skill Development

Ongoing Training, Support and Expectations

After the selection of a Peer Educator Corps, the youth continue to attend four times a week throughout the school year. During the program, they:

  • Further explore teen issues
  • Support each other
  • Learn and practice communications and counseling skills

   

  • Create and refine educational skits, plays, games, and trainings
  • Design workshops on previously covered and new topics
  • Plan performances and trainings
  • Conduct outreach, resource coordination, and other detailed tasks that are necessary for events

Peer Educators become part of the WEATOC family. They receive counseling, referrals, and crisis intervention from staff as needed to meet personal and educational needs. They receive regular individual attention to help them set and achieve goals and cope with the challenges facing at-risk adolescents.

Performances and Workshops

Performances and trainings take place at and are co-sponsored by:

  • Health Centers
  • Youth Centers
  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Tenant Facilities
  • Other organizations

We share responsibility with partners and work closely with them on timing, publicity, and outreach.

Performances:

  • Are written, produced, and performed by Peer Educators
  • Blend short plays, poetry, raps, and music?
  • Address specific issues (such as teen pregnancy, violence, STIs, etc)
  • Address broader topics (such as peer pressure, relationships, leadership, decision-making, and self-esteem)
  • Reach large audiences
  • Are followed by discussion, Q&A sessions, and interactive activitie

Workshops:

  • Compliment performances
  • Are targeted to specific groups and/or specific issues
  • Are typically offered in several sessions over a month-long period
  • Contain WEATOC skits, role plays, games, and discussion