January 2013

This month’s MPF impact blog post is brought you by Yves Singletary, one of our 2nd Year Senior Fellows, serving at Start Strong through the Boston Health Commission. Enjoy!

~Sahar

Unhealthy relationship or Healthy Relationship? That is the question! Might seem like a simple answer, but being able to decipher the characteristics of an unhealthy relationship isn’t as simple as it might seem, lucky there is Start Strong! Start Strong Boston is a teen dating violence prevention initiative of the Boston Public Health Commission.

Our high school aged Peer Leaders go out into the community to educate other young people,  ages 11-14 across Boston, on topics of healthy relationships, teen dating violence, healthy break-ups, gender stereotypes, and media messaging. Our teens have been hard at work this year working with three community centers and conducting various single session workshops around the city.

Most recently we were visited by 12-year NBA veteran and former Celtics player Keyon Dooling. He retired from the Celtics last year and now serves as a Player Development Coordinator for the team. Dooling’s energy and charisma shined bright as he spoke to our Peer Leaders about his struggles growing up as an inner city youth to his success as an NBA superstar. Dooling also opened up about being a survivor of sexual violence as a youth. He is now looking to travel around the country through his new foundation RESPECT speaking to teens and boys about sexual violence and masculinity.  Keyon not only came to share, but came to listen to our young people as well.  Our teens conducted a workshop for Dooling on teen dating violence, based off of our work at Community centers, which was very well received.   

All my Peer Leaders are pretty amazing but I’d like to give a special shout out to Jaylin.  Jaylin has been involved with our program since its inception. He was recognized by City of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino for his outstanding contribution to the city with his teen dating violence prevention and healthy relationship promotion work. Please check out the article below!

http://boston.com/metrodesk/2013/02/02/teen-honored-with-city-award-for-role-fighting-teen-violence/yErAN3AakAZeXHZlxtvaOI/story.html

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Peer Leaders with Keyon Dooling

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