Former Peer Leader at Brooklyn Lab School
Transcribed from an audio interview. Responses have been edited for clarity.
I got involved in Day One through Jack, the RAPP Coordinator at my high school. Now, I’m starting in the military as a 92A logistics specialist. I just graduated from basic training.
I was a peer leader at Day One for two years. We were educated on how to assist people experiencing abusive relationships. In the summer, we took mini classes on topics like coercion and healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. During the school year, I had weekly sessions with Jack. We created a space for anyone who had any interest in learning about relationships. It was an open but confidential space for people to come and express themselves.
When I got involved with Day One I was about 17. All the information I learned on healthy relationships — I didn’t even really know there was such a thing. I just thought it was like, you’re in a relationship and you either like it or you don’t like it. I didn’t know anything about coercion, because I didn’t know you have to ask for consent every time you engaged in sexual stuff. I I never thought it was really like that, because I’m not used to seeing that happen in the actual world.
I think it’s important that Day One works with young people. If I were having a problem with my relationship, I would be much more likely to go to a friend than I would be to a social worker. So Day One prepares young people for situations where you have the information and the resources to put out there to your peers, and you can help them get out of the worst situation in the best way.
Day One helped me to build better relationships with people, and to learn how to communicate better. Instead of ignoring problems when I’m having them, I can deal with them within myself, and I have also come to realize that it’s not always just me. There’s always someone that can assist you with what you’re going through.