Peers annual report final for press

Page 1

Annual report 2013


Letter From OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Do teens have it tough today or what? It used to be that each generation made it easier on their children; the biggest worry was spoiling them. For many of us, the world we grew up in never seemed so different or far away. We had drugs, of course, “venereal diseases” (sure, a couple), alcohol, cigarettes, bullying, and an occasional unhealthy relationship. Yes, we had our challenges, but consider the youth of today and their world:

• How about spending seven hours a day in front of a “screen,” the average time for 8-18 year olds in the US.1 • The “in your face” saturation of sex in our culture. Sex has been a temptation for humans from the beginning, but why has it become everything to our culture? Have you heard of sexting, Snap Chatting or, if you can believe, Revenge Porn? • Four in 10 sexually active teen girls have had an STD that can cause infertility and even death. There are 40 types of human papillomavirus or HPV alone! 2 • Cyber-bullies go way beyond pushing someone against a locker. • More teens smoke marijuana than tobacco.3

How can we make a difference? How do we help young people hold onto important values, lifestyles, and leisure activities, when life is moving at the speed of the internet? We at The PEERS Project of Indiana, Inc., know we are making a difference. We believe our effectiveness is the result of actively involving positive teenage role models so they can influence their peers.

them with our interactive curriculum, and hone their leadership and communication skills. They become powerful influences for good, all the while reinforcing each other’s commitment to develop healthy relationships and avoid risky behavior. Both Peer Leaders and participants benefit in significant ways. Our lessons address topics like media influence, how to form healthy relationships, how to recognize and get out of unhealthy relationships, assertiveness techniques to deal with bullies and resist negative peer pressure, and the consequences of drugs and teen sexual activity on both body and mind.

Board of Directors Jeff Pfister, President Cindi Zenkert-Strange, V.P. Lee Davis Butt, Secretary Cindy Schwefel, Treasurer Rick Kiovsky, M.D. Beth Pfister Dr. Leondra Radford

Our program demonstrates choices for optimal health and a roadmap with directions to realize their potential. We show how to avoid all risky behaviors and form better strategies moving forward. We have joyfully undertaken an awesome responsibility of creating a positive influence network for teens, and look forward to sharing with you our successes and accomplishments over the coming months. Thank you for your interest in The PEERS Project of Indiana, Inc., and taking the time to read our 2013 Annual Report!

Eve Jackson Executive Director 1

Huffington Post, 10.18.13 3 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 PEERS Infographic 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Program Delivery Areas/Coordinators Program Highlights Thank You to Our Donors Financial Statement Peer Leader Experience Ways You Can Support Our Mission Additional Program Highlights

Photo Credits: Katie Basbagill Infographic Credit: DK New Media

We partner with high schools to find their very best leaders, engage them through an extensive interview process, equip


Eve Jackson, Executive Director

Joe Pickard Associate Executive Director

Elise Vestal Program Director

Sue Ann Dines Administrative Assistant

Angunae’ Dodson-Wade Charter Schools Coordinator

Nick Bolden Outreach Coordinator

In 1994, after teaching high school, Eve started PEERS because she wanted to empower positive teenage role models.

Joe’s leadership and organizational development is a valuable asset to PEERS’ programs statewide.

Elise has been part of PEERS since she was a mentor in high school. She worked in disaster relief work before joining PEERS staff.

Sue Ann’s attention to detail and administrative skills play a key role in serving young people in Indiana.

Angunae’s commitment to helping adolescents reach their potential has opened many doors at the Indianapolis’ charter schools.

Nick has a heart for giving hope and a new start to teens who are at alternative education schools, juvenile detention facilities, and foster care residential facilities.


The PEERS Project has reached 1,000,000+ youth in Indiana teaching a positive youth DEVELOPMENT program in school districts across the state of INDIANA!


Mission: The PEERS Project creates a positive inuence network for teens who teach their peers how to make healthy lifestyle choices.



The CURRICULUM Helping teens make healthy lifestyle choices has positive effects now, in their relationships, and in their future career.

The teenage years are a confusing and overwhelming time, where teens are faced with bullying, peer pressure, abusive relationships, and other life stresses. The decisions they make during this time can affect them for the rest of their lives.

For 6th Graders:

Problems Facing Youth 2.5xx

1. Media Influences 2. Friendship and Peer Pressure

High school students who have not engaged in sexual activity are 2.5 times more likely to graduate compared to those who have.

3. Assertiveness Techniques

For 7th Graders: 8x10 10

1. Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood

Eight in 10 sexually active teenagers were drinking alcohol and/or using marijuana/drugs.

2. Sexually Transmitted Disease 3. Linking Drugs to Sex

2x xx

For 8th Graders:

Young people who begin drinking before the age of 15 are more than twice as likely to develop alcohol abuse as those who begin drinking after the age of 21.

1. Healthy Relationships (Including Dating Violence i.e. Heather's Law, Act (SEA) 316 and Anti-bullying) 2. Dating and Other Risky Behavior


3. Learning to Lead Nearly one in three sexually active girls gets pregnant at least once by the age of 21.

For 9th Graders: 1. Love that Lasts a Lifetime


1 in 11 high school students have been hit, slapped, or physically abused in the past year. This is the same number that was forced to have sexual intercourse when they didn’t want to.

The PEERS Project It’s important that teens have positive influences and roles models in order to avoid risky behaviors. The PEERS Project’s goal is to create a positive influence network for teens who teach their peers how to make healthy lifestyle choices.

96% of teens report mental/emotional abuse in their dating relationships.


RS PEE Pro ct je

96% %

2. Sexually Transmitted Disease

39% of teens reported they had at least one drink of alcohol during the last 30 days.





Peer Leaders


In 2013, The PEERS Project identified, trained and provided peer support for 2,000 Peer Leaders who reached 15,000 participants in Indiana.


The RESULTS Research conducted by Dr. Kenneth Ferraro, Purdue University,

Peer Leaders serve as teachers and

was published in The American Journal of Health Studies,

role models, and exemplify the power

showing that PEERS is eective in improving attitude, knowledge,

of healthy lifestyle choices for middle

decision making, behavior, and academic performance.

school and high school students.

Averages based on personal response from PEERS Project


participants statewide:

I care about and respect myself

Lagrange Steuben


and others. I want the best life



possible for myself and my future family.




I will abstain from sexual activity

Miami Tippecanoe

I will seek out healthy relationships I will learn to lead


I will not bully


I will say no to drugs


I will avoid risky behaviors. Clay Brown















e Sp


could identify characteristics

said Peer Leaders impacted their

of unhealthy relationships.

decision to avoid risky behavior.



As published in the American Journal

learned refusal skills that

said they learned good reasons

of Health Studies, students who

would help them to resist

for not having sex until marriage.

receive The PEERS Project program

pressure to use alcohol,

showed a 1.5% increase in Math ISTEP

tobacco, and other drugs, and

scores each year they participated.

to become sexually active.

PEERS PROJECT has reached 1,000,000+ youth across Indiana.


Infographic courtesy of DK NEW MEDIA

PEERS Project Program Delivery Areas School Corporations MSD Washington Township MSD Perry Township MSD Wabash County Schools Baugo Community Clay Community Clinton Prairie Southeast Dubois Community Southwest Dubois Community Northeast Dubois County Crawfordsville Community East Noble Elkhart Community Knox Community Loogootee Community North Montgomery Brown County North Spencer County North Miami Community Prairie Heights Community Rochester Community Rossville Community South Montgomery

Charter Schools Christel House DORS C. A. Tindley Accelerated Tindley Preparatory Tindley Collegiate Herron High School University Heights Prep. Providence Cristo Rey Padua Academy Lighthouse Academies Fall Creek Academy

Community Outreach Partners IPS Alternative Education Juvenile Detention Center Marion Co. Jail, Juv. Div. IPS ROOTS Program Julian Center* Crooked Creek Center* Kaleidoscope* MLK Center* Coburn Place* Wheeler Boys & Girls Club* Salvation Army* Forest Manor Center* Coburn Place* *Summer Program Lake County: New Tech Innovative (Gary) Roosevelt High School (Gary) Gary Public Library Program* Merrillville Boys/Girls Club*

Coordinator highlight Diane Sparks, Area Coordinator, North Montgomery Community School Corporation Diane has mentored, trained, and supervised more than 435 North Montgomery High School students since she implemented The PEERS Project’s “PEP” program in 2002. “PEP” stands for PEERS’ copyrighted curriculum: Peers Educating Peers about Positive Values©. Diane was motivated to start PEERS’ positive youth development program because she and her husband had three daughters in NMCSC, one in 9th grade, and twins in 6th grade. One of Diane’s first Peer Leaders in their pilot project now volunteers as an Adult Leader and trains some of NMHS’ 105 Peer Leaders. Diane also helped to expand PEERS into Montgomery County’s other two school districts.


Thank you to our area coordinators Statewide area coordinators providing local program support and leadership: County Brown County Clay County Clinton County Dubois - Spencer Counties Elkhart County Fulton County Gary, IN LaGrange County LaGrange County Marion-Charter Schools Marion-Comm. Outreach Marion-Perry Township Marion-Washington Martin County Miami County Miami County Montgomery County Montgomery County Noble County Noble County Starke County Wabash County

Name Marie Stephens Kandace Brown Dan Memmer Penny Alstadt Courtney Kipker Trinity Lease John Hunt Karen Frey Steve Parsons Angunae’ Dodson-Wade Nick Bolden Ben Tierney Sandi Roberts Brenda Weisheit Wayne Balmer Julie Walker Diane Sparks Kathryn Schueren Matt Taner Andrea Farren Shirley Fosler Sandra Boone


The teenage years are a confusing and overwhelming time, where teens are faced with bullying, peer pressure, abusive relationships, and other life stresses. The decisions they make during this time can affect them for the rest of their lives. Our interactive curriculum, taught by Peer Leaders, helps adolescents know they are not alone in facing these issues, and provides hope and a roadmap for success.

The PEERS Project employs well-trained Area Coordinators who work with high school students who have been selected by teachers and peers because they are positive role models. These teens have a powerful influence over younger peers because they “walk the talk” by having healthy relationships, and avoiding all risky behavior including alcohol and other drugs, and sexual activity. One hundred Peer Leaders in 1994 snowballed into more than 25,000 who had reached a million adolescents in schools and community centers by 2013, demonstrating the effectiveness of PEERS’ unique approach.

“Our Peer Leaders are changing the texture and culture of our school and making it a better place. Now our students who are Peer Leaders are setting a positive example. Now it’s cool not to use drugs or have sex!” - Mr. Matthew Stark, former Brown County High School Principal, Nashville, Indiana

1 in 5 female teens reports being physically and/ or sexually abused by a dating partner. - Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, (No. 5, 2001) High school students who have not engaged in sexual activity are almost twice as likely to graduate from college. - National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health Prior to sexual activity, 21.6% of teens drank alcohol or used drugs. - mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5905.pdf 7

A text message sent by a Peer Leader to a PEERS Coordinator


Business/Churches/Foundations and Civic Groups

Action Team Apparel Angela B. Smith, Dentistry Baldwin Chiropractic Bella Marketing Blue Dragon TaeKwonDo Bob Schwartz Chrysler Dodge Jeep Bohemian Red Images Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School Brown County Local Coordinating Council C. Hockersmith Electric, Inc Caring Hands Health & Rehabilitation Center Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis Central Indiana Community Foundation Clay County Substance Abuse Council College Park Church Clinton Prairie Community Schools Conner Excavating Consolidated Carpet Crawfordsville Work Force, Inc. DK New Media Dubois County Community Foundation Dubois County Substance Abuse Council Eckrote Farms, Inc. Elkhart General Hospital Franke’s Fruit Farm Ginnie’s Enterprises LLC Gottschalk Realty Hamm Electric Heathcliff, Inc.

Henthorn, Harris & Weliever Hickory Creek Healthcare Fdn., Inc. Hi-Temp Refractories Hoosier Heartland State Bank Indiana Youth Institute Intersections, Inc. J. M. Thompson Insurance Jarrety’s Gourmet Sandwiches Jennifer Jacobs Agency KLC Design Knox Community School Corporation Lake Bethel Mennonite Church Liberty Chapel Loogootee Comm. Loogootee United Methodist Church Long’s Doughnuts Lynn R. Bowen, Dentistry Martin County Community Foundation Mexico Marathon, LLC Mixwest Montgomery County Community Foundation Montgomery United Fund For You (MUFFY) MSD of Wabash County North Miami Community Foundation Northern Indiana Community Foundation Optimist Club of Rochester PBnJ Youth Minister Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church Pleasant View Inc.

Individual Contributions Michael & Andrea Ackermann Kent & Barbara Alder Rick Alexander Penny & Larry Alstadt Terry Atz Ron Baldwin James Baldwin Wayne Balmer Robert E. Barnett David Barts, DDS Richard & Suzanne Belcher Claudio & Anna Bertolini Kelly Biddings Nicole Blane Nick Bolden Kim Booker John & Shelly Boomershine Sandra Boone Tonny Bordner Michael & Trina Boston Trenia Bowen Josh & Kayla Bronaugh Emily L. Brown Julie & Kenny Brown Kandace Brown Laura Buchanan Gregory & Carolyn Cagnassola Kristin Carpenter Rusty Carter Wendy & Richard Cass Kathryn L. Chastain Maria Chavez Dave Cholger Kim Clark Brandon Clifton Javan & Veda Collins Heather Conner Barth & Lisa Conrad G. Edward Curtis Travis & Angel Davis Lee Davis Butt Jackie De Bolt Erica Dekko Judd Dickey


Danial Diggins Kelly Dillon Angunae Dodson-Wade Kathy Dunafin Amy Eckrote Jay Burch Magaly Estrella Allen & Elizabeth Farthing Dr. Kenneth F. Ferraro Donald & Linda Foley Shirley Fosler Tim Foster Martin & Christine Franke Mary Franke Roger & Patricia Franke Martha Freeman Michael & Pamela Freese Karen & Kevin Frey Nick & Erin Frey Karen Frey Lola Gaston Thomas & Jean Gentry Abraham T. Ghiday Bruce & Charlene Gilham Glenn & Leslee Goss Evan & Emily Gottschalk Steve & Carol Gottschalk Melissa & Christopher Hahn Trevan Hamm Mike Hamm Peter & Jennifer Harris Yalonda Hendricks Terry Hockersmith Jeanette Holland Jo Carroll Hunt Eve & Jim Jackson Jennifer Jacobs Tina & Steve Johnson Dan & Terri Johnson Steve & Carol Johnson Calvin Johnson Elaine H. Johnson Tracey L. Jordan Jennifer Jous

Daland & Lisa Juberg Lori Juerling Leanne & Jeff Kabrich Elizabeth & Thomas Kashin Kathleen A. Keesling Dr. Rick & Carolyn Kiovsky Courtney Kipker Jeanna & Martin Kovalan Daniel & Monica Kozlowski David Krause Michael & Carmen Kuhn Julie Lamothe Melissa Lapworth-Kuehl Louis & Leigh Lazaron Trinity Lease Pamela Linsley Donald & Tommi Main Thomas & Marta Marvin, Anton Dan Memmer Silvia Mersck Patricia G. Middleton F. Scott & Pamela S. Mills Brad Monts Mary Murphy John & Kathryn Null Scott Odle Barbara J. Osborn Carol Y. Paik Steve Parsons Daniel & Nicole Perez Dawn Peter Wendy & Warren Pfeiffer Ed & Wendy Pfeiffer Jeff & Beth Pfister Leah Pfister Rachel Pfister Sarah Beth Pfister Jacob Pfister Keith & Virginia Phillips Joe & Laura Pickard Dr. James D. Pike Tom Plimpton Karen & Scott Presley Kevin Pugh

Powers-Priebe Funeral Home Prairie Heights School Corporation Prairie Heights Middle School Raber’s Kountry Store Radio Now Republic Services - County Line Landfill Rochester Community School Corporation Rochester Flagpole, LLC Rochester Kiwanis Club Rossville Consolidated Council Shoulders and Shoulders Marketing Group Southwest Indiana Right to Life Spectrum Seed Solutions Sroufe Landscape Nurseries and Gardens Sterling Impressions, Inc St. Vincent Health Stroh Church of Christ Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing of N. America, Inc. Trent Shirar Trucking uLEAD Wabash County Community Foundation Walmart Foundation Waveland Outdoor Power, LLC Woodlawn Hospital Yount and Company, LLC

Cletus & Emma Raber Leondra Radford, Ph. D. Michael & Mary Rice John & Angela Richardson Sandi Roberts Vequin & Nicole Rowe Jeff Runkle J. Christopher & Rosetta Sartore Stephen & Leanne Schaller Kathryn Schueren Jim & Cindy Schwefel Andrea & Steven Schwomeyer Sydney S. Sherwood Bill & Carmen Stanczykiewicz Trent Shirar Bryan & Jeanne Shirley James Siegel David Simpson Sloan Smith Melody Smith Angela B. Smith, Dds Diane & Allen Sparks Pastor Mark Spencer Marie & Phil Stephens Mary Taylor Michael & Anita Terry Jill R. Thomas Tom Thomas Monte Thompson Ben Tierney J. Elise Vestal Cash Waggner Julie Walker Brenda Weisheit Stu Weliever Stan Whitehead Michael & Tracy Williams Marc & Linda Williamson J. Renae Winfrey-Nephew Rene B. Withers Susie Wolfe David Zenkert & Cindy Zenkert-Strange

Positive Influence Network Young people need to have positive experiences to succeed. These experiences will help them: 1. Internalize strong values 2. Feel valued, affirmed, and supported 3. Know what others expect of them and know they will be held accountable 4. Acquire constructive skills that equip them to make positive choices and build healthy relationships 5. Know they’re making a difference as decision makers, leaders, advocates, and change agents 6. Gain a strong sense of competence, confidence, connection, contribution and character 7. Tap into their own power, purpose, worth, and promise.”


Learned refusal skills to resist negative peer pressure

Source: The Asset Approach: Giving Kids What They Need to Succeed,” Search Institute

Financial Statement

Revenue Federal Grant


Thanks to Federal, State & local grants, community foundation support and both business & individual donations, The PEERS Project provides its youth development program to schools and community organizations at no cost to them.

State Grant


A look ahead to 2014: • Creation of the PEERS Project annual Sustaining Member • • •

Campaign to expand our funding sources throughout the state of Indiana. Expand our Area Coordinator development strategies with personal, group, & workshop training programs for both personal enrichment and program fidelity. Implementation of enhanced tools to deepen our Peer Leaders understanding and delivery of the curriculum. Implementation of a new, rigorous evaluation program to measure outcomes related to “matched” school comparisons on pre, post, and 1 year delayed surveys.

Business Donations



$ 11,042

Gifts In Kind







Total Revenue Expenses Direct Program Support

$14,587 $543,374

Actual 2013 $367,004

Program Evaluation






Total Expenses

Revenue Over Expenses



$542,975 $399

Peer leader experience

Nichole is a Senior at Herron High School in Indianapolis. As a member of the National Honor’s Society and the Senior Class President, she hopes to go to Stanford or Howard University to study medicine. Along with being a leader in her school and community, Nichole shares “I understand the importance of being a positive peer leader in relation to my involvement with The PEERS Project.” Being a leader and a committed student has always been important to me. The more involved I became with PEERS, the more I realized I had a purpose to help others. The PEERS Project not only provided me an ideal forum to serve as a leader, it gave me an opportunity to openly share my beliefs. I am proud to help students understand the dangers of sexual activity, the signs of unhealthy relationships and how to avoid them, ways to say no to drugs & alcohol, and how to stand up to bullies. Serving as a Peer Leader has really helped my self-esteem and made me a better person. Our society tries to place barriers through statistics, but I refused to let that “false data” define my generation. I so desperately wanted to prove that a great number of teens were not who society made us out to be, and it is through the PEERS Project that I was able to voice those beliefs. By being a positive role model for my peers, and avoiding risky behavior, I make a difference with my generation. One of the core values of PEERS is learning to lead. Naturally, I was capable, but I was never given the tools I needed to enhance

this skill. One of the tools granted to me by The PEERS Project was understanding my leadership style, meaning, I must first know who I am as a leader in order to be effective in any of my pursuits. I am beyond thankful that through my growth as a leader, I have been able to improve and hone in on this skill. Along with noticing a tremendous amount of growth in my leadership, PEERS taught me the importance of communicating effectively with others, and appreciating the relationships built through that dialogue. I have the ability to hold conversations with those who are superiors, as well as those who are in equal positions as me. In relation to the skills I have acquired, balance is one of the most important. Interning for the PEERS Project, along with school, requires responsibility and time management, learning to carry out every task I am given promptly and efficiently. In preparation for a post-secondary education, I understand that balance is a skill I need and if it were not for PEERS, I would not be able to productively handle numerous tasks. I value commitment, which often means standing firm in what I believe and encouraging others to stand firm in their beliefs. My purpose is not only having a healthy lifestyle for myself, but sharing this choice with my peers. It is through the PEERS Project that my leadership and purpose are carried out; choices are no longer feckless but empowering.

the impact of peers “I was bullied and my life was a nightmare, but when I got around the right people who genuinely cared for me, were supportive and motivated me, it made me want to do the same for other kids, so they won’t have to tolerate the bully or go through what I’ve gone through.” - Bri, Peer Leader “PEERS Project taught me… when it comes to making the right choice, make it and even if you’re a minority in that, it’s more important that you stay true to who you are” – Andrea, Peer Leader “I’m young. I can’t do a lot but I can use my voice to help others. PEERS gives me that platform, where I can make a difference.” – Rachel, Peer Leader “What makes PEERS’ programming unique is the empowerment of high school students who model the positive behaviors they encourage their younger peers to practice. By engaging students, they become part of the solution as PEERS’ interactive program demonstrates essential life skills such as goal setting, decision making, and assertiveness. Peer leaders instruction and personal guidance about the differences between healthy and abusive relationships help to prepare adolescents for dating and marriage.” - Indiana State Senator “Young people listen to other young people and this fact is what makes the PEERS Project program so effective. The high school students learn the lessons of planning, organizing, listening and execution. Our North Central students have taken great civic pride in putting their program together and have viewed it as a type of community service. I agree that it is a very important service to the community and has had a tremendous impact upon the social awareness and consciences of our students”. - Principal “The most important thing to me that I learned was how to say “no” to drugs and alcohol. It was most interesting because I never learned how to actually say “no”. I will always remember the 3 assertive ways to say no: why & feel, refuse to argue and walk away” - 6th grade student



Helping teens make healthy lifestyle choices has positive effects now, in their relationships, and in their future career.

WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR MISSION • Make a donation to our annual Sustaining Membership

• Provide support through a Planned Gift, Will or Estate

• Volunteer to help train or practice with your local group of

• Help investigate the latest research impacting our work • Submit stories of your experience with peer leaders or


Peer Leaders

• Host or organize a social gathering for your local Peer Leaders

• Attend classroom presentations • Provide support by helping with general office duties • Speak to your church, civic group or club about PEERS


participants for the E-Newsletter or Blog

• Ask your Facebook friends to ‘Like’ our Facebook page (

• Follow us on Twitter @PEERSProject

GET INVOLVED Research studies reveal that youth need concrete, positive experiences to develop character qualities and values that are essential in guiding their attitudes and behavior. These experiences both protect adolescents from risky behaviors and influence them to make healthy choices. 1. Get your school involved by contacting us at or 317.592.4015. 2. Contact your school about having The PEERS Project. 3. Make a donation so we can help more schools and students. 4. Teens--apply to become a Peer Leader yourself.



Students are given the opportunity to sign their own personal commitment to avoid risky behavior.


Students are eager to answer their Peer Leaders’ question about signs of a healthy relationship.


Students participating in an interactive lesson on drinking and its consequences. 1400 N Meridian Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46202 P: (317) 592-4015 F: (317) 592-4009 E: SMS/Text: (317) 283-9000 Funded by grants from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Indiana State Department of Health


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