Revolutionary Youth

 

Reproductive Health Education Club (RHE) will be a new club this year which will officially be introduced to Ashland High School (AHS) in January 2020. AHS senior, Parker Collins, is a participant in a Planned Parenthood leadership program called REV Youth which informs high school students about sexual and reproductive health and rights. Collins was inspired by the experience and believes that everyone should be informed on sexual and reproductive education. He states “if you’re a leader, you’re going to stand up for what you believe in. I feel like I’m a part of a team of people who have the same aspirations for what the world should be.” Both REV and RHE are great ways for people to come together as a community and talk about sexual and reproductive education.

Collins aims to reach the students of AHS and let the RHE club provide a safe environment for students to talk amongst themselves about these subjects without the pressure and awkwardness of talking to teachers and parents. Collins has taken this on as his senior project, but for him it’s far more than just a graduation requirement. He was motivated to initiate this project and introduce it to AHS after witnessing the president of the United States sign an executive order known as the “gag” rule which prohibits health care providers from suggesting abortion as a safe and legal option for birth control. Collins wants to discuss topics such as this one with other peers since these subjects may not be discussed in school or at home.

In the future, Collins hopes to reach out to the Ashland Middle School (AMS) and work with a younger audience to introduce additional information about sexual and reproductive health early on in youth’s education. The positive side of having peer to peer education, as opposed to the sexual education provided by schools, is that students will hopefully be more involved in a relaxed setting with other peers facilitating meetings. Collins states that “I believe in the fact that youth speaks to youth,”

Students who are interested in RHE club should keep their eyes open for flyers and listen during announcements in the future for more information. Students can also talk with Collins for additional information about the club. Collins encourages anyone and everyone to participate in RHE. The club will be a safe and positive environment where all students can learn things they never knew before or expand upon their existing knowledge of reproductive rights. Collins also encourages students to become involved with other local reproductive health organizations such as the REV Youth program that catalyzed his advocacy for reproductive rights. For students interested in Planned Parenthood’s REV Youth program, it is available in Southern Oregon in both the Rogue Valley and Lane County for all high school students. REV members meet 2-3 hours every other week in the evening. For more information students should visit Planned Parenthood’s website.

 

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