Funds from Colorado Gives Day will support Promoting Empowerment Eagle River (formerly known as Red Ribbon Project) in maintaining our current services and eventually expanding the breadth and depth of our programs to meet demands for all program requests.
In 2023, after 27 years as the Red Ribbon Project (RRP), our organization transitioned to Promoting Empowerment Eagle River (PEER) to better echo our expanded mission. Originally founded in 1996 for HIV/AIDS awareness, we evolved to focus on preventing risky behaviors among youth, fostering their self-confidence and decision-making skills.
At PEER, we believe that knowledge is power, and the path to healthier futures begins with comprehensive sexual health education. Our mission is clear: to reduce teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Eagle County by promoting an empowered community that values sexual health and well-being. We are dedicated to empowering our youth with knowledge, fostering open conversations, and providing vital resources to help them make informed choices about their sexual health.
Our programs are making a significant impact in Eagle County. We serve nearly 3,500 students through our maturation classes for 5th to 8th graders and sexual health classes for 9th grade. We provide free HIV testing, ensuring that every individual who needs it can access this essential service, and distribute condoms to promote safe practices.
Maturation and Sexual Health Education
Education is at the core of our efforts. At PEER, we're committed to supporting a comprehensive and inclusive approach to maturation education, emphasizing medically accurate, age-appropriate content. We send educators to local schools to facilitate discussions about maturation and sexual health. Our curriculum is designed to be comprehensive and inclusive, ensuring that every student has access to medically accurate information. We recognize that these conversations can be uncomfortable for some youth, so we strive to create a safe and judgment-free space where questions can be asked and answered.
Evidence-based sexual health education can improve academic success; prevent dating violence, and bullying; help youth develop healthier relationships; delay sexual initiation; reduce unplanned pregnancy, HIV, and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs); and reduce sexual health disparities among LGBTQ youth. Additionally, sexual health education reduces sexual risk behavior by delaying sexual initiation, reducing pregnancy and STIs, and increasing contraceptive use.
The primary goals of the sexual health program delivered by PEER of Eagle County are
1) To reduce teenage pregnancy in Eagle County
2) To reduce the transmission of STIs in Eagle County among 15-24 year olds
3) To provide medically accurate information to students, and inform them of local health resources.
We also encourage young people to communicate with trusted adults in their lives about sexual development and experiences. We believe that open and honest conversations between youth and adults play a vital role in empowering our community to make healthier choices. We value the trust and collaboration of parents and the community in our efforts to promote sexual health education.
Financial Aid for FREE HIV Testing and Condom Distribution
The purpose of PEER’s free HIV testing is to fund the provision of free HIV testing to residents in Eagle County. The HIV tests are administered by local medical experts who offer resources, guide patients to counseling, and ensure potential treatment if results are positive. Such initiatives also encourage safer sexual behaviors, especially among high-risk groups. A primary objective of PEER’s Free HIV Testing funding initiative is to elevate community awareness about behaviors that elevate the risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
PEER annually distributes 10,000 condoms throughout Eagle County. Given the area's resort nature and young adult population, this initiative promotes the CDC-backed benefits of consistent and correct condom use in preventing HIV and other STI transmission.
Together, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our youth and community. Join us in our mission to reduce teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other STIs by promoting empowerment, knowledge, and informed decision-making. With your support, we can ensure that every individual in Eagle County has the tools and resources they need to lead a healthy and empowered life.