Work with Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambassadors | Teen Ink

Work with Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambassadors

May 29, 2009
By Jordan Alper BRONZE, Santa Monica, California
Jordan Alper BRONZE, Santa Monica, California
4 articles 2 photos 0 comments

I started working on AIDS education when I was in Middle School. At the end of my 8th grade year, I was asked to participate in the newly formed, inspiring group called the Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambassadors, led by Core teacher Robert Adanto. I immediately accepted, motivated to help spread awareness about the deadly virus to other students my age. In 9th grade I was immensely excited to take on the cause as my 20-hour community service project. This year, as an 11th grader, I was blessed to once again work for the amazing cause in completing my 20-hour project. During the community service project, my peers and I attended a variety of workshops, lectures, and discussions at a workshop, which took place at UCLA.

We participated in a discussion with two women, representing the UCLA branch of the AIDS Ambassadors group, who showed us an emotionally draining slideshow of effects of AIDS in Africa, as well as explaining to us the new developments in the search for a cure. We were given the fantastic opportunity to actually speak with these two women who do essentially the same work our group does, except on a larger scale and with a different age group. We talked about our different methods of portraying the information in presentations and it helped me to understand how I could continue my AIDS work even after high school.

We also listened to a speech by a woman from a small village in South Africa who showed the audience a quilt made by the women from her village. The men had mostly all died off and the women used this quilt as a plea for help and as a medium to express their dire situation to the world.

The most memorable moment of the weekend for me was when a high school student, who had unfortunately been given HIV by his mother when he was born, came to speak to us. He was a regular, nice kid, who had just been put in a terrible situation. It was inspiring how well he handled living with his disease. He had just told his best friend, five minutes before entering the room, and really gave us a true feeling about what it is like to live with the illness we had been learning so much about. He socialized with us, and had a personable, friendly attitude.

I found within myself an inner strength; I knew after that day I could better educate any teenager as well as any adult. I learned so much about the virus threatening today’s world, and when I finished the weekend, I felt even more competent in sharing the knowledge with other people my age than I did after any of the previous training sessions. I would recommend this experience to every person, who lives his or her life blind to the pandemic spreading throughout the entire world. This was an eye opening experience and I would not trade it for anything.

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This article has 1 comment.

Eichan said...
on Oct. 29 2009 at 8:24 am
Bravo Teen AIDS Ambassador. You're work has a hugh impact. I am a Health Peace Volunteer in Moldova, Europe. I watched the first 3 minutes of the video that is up on your page of MySpace. I would like the video sent me on CD if possible. I have started a Health Club at a school in northwest Moldova. The club is named "Health of Life" and consists of mostly 6th and 7th graders with a few 11th graders. Next month, November, is AIDS Awaress month. One of the things "Health of Life" wants to do is present a small play to the elementary kids. The thing is this is their first time ever doing something like this, and on top of that they have no examples of children their age doing anything active with health related topics like what your group does. Showing the video would really motivate them and help get their energies moving in the right direction. Send me an email and I will send you our address.