Youth Wellness Council Drives Sex Ed Design at Keystone School
Updated: May 3
By Eleni Pacheco
Four years ago we began facilitating sex ed at Keystone School at the request of their Wellness Council, a group of young people with a special interest in student body health. Keystone is a unique partner for Healthy Futures because their sex ed programming is entirely decided upon by the students themselves. Each year our staff meets with the Head of Upper School and the counselor to discuss the community needs as advised by the Wellness Council.
We tailor in-house lesson plans to address the topics that are important to the students like victim-blaming, sex and substance use, and how to prepare for healthy sexuality as a young adult. Our educators research scholarly articles, utilize trusted resources, and pull from existing curricula to ensure the education we provide is founded in science-based, medically accurate facts and statistics.
Research shows that young people learn more through peer education and action-based learning. When asked to implement programming on consent while under the influence, accessing healthcare, and college relationships with the Keystone seniors, we drew out the information young people already had and allowed them to lead as we provided new insight and options for responsible decision-making. We designed each lesson to include updated activities that would make the information pertinent and practical for each student, such as:
Developing social media PSAs
Creating personal health commitments
Improvising role plays
Here’s what the seniors had to say about their program:
Young people want sex ed programming that goes beyond the birds and the bees. They are requesting education that covers the full gamut of sexual health, and Healthy Futures is here to provide it. This new curriculum is a strong investment in the future of sex ed in San Antonio and Texas, and it shows our work can be driven by collaboration with youth as the primary stakeholders.
Eleni Pacheco, San Antonio Project Coordinator, discovered their passion for culture and sexuality while studying anthropology at UTSA. They chose to work in sex ed with the mission of creating world peace through shared power and community efficacy. Outside of education, Eleni shows love by feeding their friends (often experimenting on them with new recipes) and bonding over backyard karaoke.