Student Solidarity

HIP (Health Information Project) is revolutionizing health education by transforming high school students into teachers; disrupting the traditional health class with a new innovative peer-to-peer model.
Words by Stacy Wynn | August 29, 2022 | Lifestyle

Led by sisters Risa (Founder/CEO) & Valerie Berrin (COO), Health Information Project (HIP) is determined to ensure that every kid in the U.S. is healthy — physically and emotionally. The U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and the American Academy of Pediatrics have declared a mental health emergency among teenagers, who are experiencing unprecedented levels of emotional distress. Schools have to do more to address the crisis, and HIP has proven a successful tool to addresses these critical health issues facing students. Their peer-to-peer health educators, PHEs, are trained in public speaking, classroom management, curriculum knowledge and leadership skills. The program addresses critical physical and emotional health topics such as self-esteem, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, drugs, vaping, obesity and eating disorders. The group has been partnering with Miami-Dade County Public Schools for the past 13 years and currently works in Broward, Monroe and Pinellas counties as well. They train high scool juniors and seniors to lead interactive sessions with their 9th Grade peers. HIP sessions are received by all freshmen at a school and are implemented during the day, not after school, for maximum impact;