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5 Questions with Jackie, a former THS Volunteer!

Did you know that Teen Health Source has been around for 25 years! Started in 1993, Teen Health Source has grown from just a phone sexual health info line into a total phone/text/email/online chat peer education service PLUS this very blog that you’re reading RIGHT NOW! To help celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we’re checking in with some of our previous volunteers to see what THS was like when they were on the lines, and where they’re headed now. Today we’re hearing from Jackie!

What was Teen Health Source like when you were a volunteer?

Teen Health Source was very fun when I was a volunteer, and still is! It always kept you on your toes! I learned so much from the volunteer training, other volunteers & staff, and every conversation we had was a great learning experience. We always answered questions from folks collaboratively with the help of some well selected snacks, many listens of Beyonce’s self-titled album, and some well curated Youtube holes in slow time.

Why did you want to volunteer at Teen Health Source?

I was really interested in learning more information about sexual health coming out of high school with basically nothing to work with. I was, and still am, really interested in learning about the social determinants of health too, and I thought PPT’s values really aligned with mine, and I though I could make a real difference by being a peer educator, and I hope I did!

How did volunteering impact your life after you left Teen Health Source?

Volunteering at Teen Health Source has always been consistent proof for me that youth are the best resources for each other. It has also taught me a ton about being kinder, non-judgmental, mindful of my language, and actively challenging yourself to keep learning.

Since you were a volunteer, has anything happened in the field of Sexual Health that you’re excited about?

I’m super excited about OHIP+ and the approval of mifegymiso in Canada. It’s awesome that we are increasing access to really necessary health care, especially for youth. They’ve been around forever, but I’m also really excited to see the rise of abortion/full spectrum doulas becoming more and more accessible.

Do you have a favourite resource that you like sharing with people? Or is there a resource you wish existed?

I loved referring people to Scarleteen, Kid’s Health, Autostraddle, Bustle, PPT’s Affirmation Deck, Go Ask Alice, Everyday Feminism. I wish there was a resource that could like, drive people living outside of bigger cities to sexual health and abortion clinics, since living in a rural area or small town can make it really difficult to get health care.

Thanks, Jackie! For more in our 25th Anniversary series, check out teenhealthsource.com/tag/25-years

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