My name is Layla Entrikin, and I’m a sophomore studying public health. I recently re-watched the film Mean Girls, and laughed just as hard as I did the first time at Coach Carr telling students “Don’t have sex – you will get pregnant, and you will die.” It’s these kinds of myths and untruths I hope to help dispel this summer as sexuality educator for the Masakhane Center, in Newark, NJ.
The Masakhane Center aims to provide youth with sex-position education (meaning no shaming, hiding, or flat out lying). Everyone has the right to happy, health sex life. The Center provides workshops and trainings on a variety of topics, ranging from first-time sex to pregnancy options (as well as the more traditional STI & STD prevention).
As a sexuality health educator, I’ll be working with other interns to not only run a workshop series, but to also help create some of the curriculum. We all get to work on a project of our choice for the center, to be determined with my supervisor. For the first couple of weeks, though, I’m doing some intense intern training. I’m excited to see what we have in store.
I found my internship through Idealist.org, randomly enough. I sort of excepted to have to do some kind of finagling with personal connections, but I honestly just read the description and sent in my resume. My supervisor contacted my within 48 hours. We did a phone interview, and it was basically a done deal (to be fair, sex-education is right up my ally).
I hope that this summer I can really hone in on my teaching skills. I’m excited to be able to work with kids of varying ages. I think sexual health education provides individuals with some of the most empowering knowledge. In order to walk in the world with confidence, you need to feel comfortable in your own skin and understand your own body. I really hope to make a positive impact on these kids. I want to give them the tools to understand their wants, needs, and desires – and then to use those tools to make healthy choices.