Engaging Youth Remotely: Kim’s Story
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many high school students were experiencing persistent sadness or hopelessness; these have only worsened because of the current health crisis.
I was feeling bad about myself because I was gaining weight being at home. I miss doing sports at school and having the opportunity to talk to my friends in person. I’ve cried many times at night. I am self-conscious about my insecurities but I try to encourage myself to feel better.
I applied and was chosen to be a Peer Health Educator at La Clínica. This is an exciting opportunity to help spread the message about important topics for youth and to learn new skills. Under the guidance of my Health Education Supervisor, I started learning how to use TikTok to reach youth where they are at and I was given the opportunity to choose a topic of interest to me. I chose the topic of face masks because they can help slow the spread of the coronavirus and because there is so much misinformation about them.
At first, I felt shy about recording myself and wasn’t sure about the best way to connect with the audience. I’m still learning but I’ve received a lot of positive feedback. People are commenting, liking and sharing the videos. My friends told me that my video taught them about the symptoms of COVID and how to identify it so they found it useful. This encourages me to do better for the next video and more importantly, it makes me feel like I’m being of value to my community. I feel happier every day.
We also share these videos on Facebook and Instagram to reach even more people. There’s a lot of great information on social media but there’s also a lot of bad information. People have to be selective so they can get the right information.
I am really motivated by the mentorship and support I receive at La Clínica. I have been in this program for two years and I’ve learned a lot. If I didn’t have this group I don’t know what I would do. They empower us and teach us a lot, but maybe most importantly, I have really learned how to care more about others. I’m currently working on a video on how to give your loved ones more information about COVID.