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Valley’s Voice virtual program provides safe space for sex education

Eagle County high school students welcome at online event Monday night

Valley’s Voice, Eagle County’s youth-led and adult supported program sponsored by Mountain Youth, provides high school students with the opportunity of developing their own passion project(s) to create change. One of 10 topics that students may design a project about is LGBTQ+ rights and awareness.

The “Extended Sex Education” project was started in November of 2020 and aims to “lower STD rates, improve understanding of consent, support LGBT youth, provide a safe place to ask questions and discuss healthy relationships.”

In November, the first meeting focused on healthy relationships and featured local Megan Vogt as the adult expert; and the second meeting in January featured Betsy Cairo, AASECT’s 2017 Sexuality Educator of the Year, who spoke about protection pregnancy, and the importance of reproductive health.



According to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey statistics, LGBT youth are more likely to be sexually active, with 43.6% of LGBT having sexual intercourse, compared to 36.8% of heterosexual youth. Furthermore, only 51% of LGBT say they have an adult to go to with a severe problem, compared to 72% of straight people.

“People aren’t going to stop having questions and are never going to know everything, so providing a safe place to learn and ask questions is crucial,” said Rudy Boock, ESE project leader and creator, junior at Battle Mountain High School and Valley’s Voice Youth Executive Board member. Rudy identifies as transgender male.



Positive Impact

Many youths (and adults) have already been positively impacted by Extended Sex Education. Mountain Youth Executive Director Michelle Stecher was impressed by the profound, authentic conversation and questions about sexual health that were brought up with Cairo.

“This is an incredible opportunity that I wish I had in my youth. Our youth are able to learn much needed information in a safe environment outside of the classroom,” said Madison Partridge, one of the Mountain Youth facilitators for the ESE project.

Those interested in joining the next Extended Sex Education meeting or an ESE meeting in the future months can follow @valleysvoice on Instagram or like the “Valley’s Voice” page on Facebook for all event registration information.

The next meeting, set to be held on Monday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. over Zoom, will feature Mandy Johnson, a reproductive health educator with years of experience. She will educate attendees about making educated choices around healthy relationships. Extended Sex Education is set to continue monthly meetings through May or June of this year.

Register for the free virtual meeting online at http://www.mountainyouth.org.

If you join …

What: Extended Sex Education, a Valley’s Voice and Mountain Youth program, for local high school students.

When: Monday, 6 to 7 p.m.

More information: Register for the free Zoom virtual meeting at http://www.mountainyouth.org. For more information about the passion project, visit http://www.valleysvoice.org. Email ajohnson@mountainyouth.org with further questions.


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