Summer Lovin’ Had Me a Blast

With September just days away, we have to say so long to another incredible summer student. Devon jumped into the circus that is HIV West Yellowhead and took off running. A long time volunteer and Jasper born and raised, it felt like she belonged in the office doing her thing. Devon is an incredibly hard worker and bundle of energy and positivity. We are so proud of her many accomplishments and cannot wait to see her on the big stage one day.

Devon had a few thoughts to share about her summer, what a doll!

As my summer is slowly coming to an end, I’d like to take some time to reflect on my experience here at HIV West Yellowhead. When I first applied for the job of Summer Programmer, I thought I had a fairly good handle on what I was going to experience this summer; condom distribution, volunteer orientations, safe-sex workshops etc. In the past, I’ve had friends work in this position and I happily volunteered for them in many different capacities, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to have one of the busiest, challenging, most fun and rewarding summers I’ve ever had!

If anyone is debating whether they should apply for this job or not, stop debating and just APPLY already! Never have I worked in such a supportive and fun environment. Karly and Andrea are truly two of the best women I have ever met and continually supported me in all of my endeavors. All of the ideas and suggestions I made on various projects were not only liked but encouraged! And although at times, I had moments of self-doubt in my work and feelings of being overwhelmed, all of that was out-weighed by all of the amazing things I got to do this summer. A few of those things included hosting sexy pub trivia nights, sexual health jeopardy, organizing and running a Positive Community Norms campaign, dressing up like Captain Condom or Dental Damsel and handing out condoms at the bars, among so many other awesome experiences!

The most rewarding part of my summer, however, was truly understanding my peer group and challenging them to have a better understanding of sexual health. With my Safe is Sexy, Positive Community Norms campaign, I promoted positive sexual choices with four separate posters illustrating real statistics collected from young adults in Jasper regarding their sexual health. I got to use my creativity and recruited models, a photographer and stylists to fulfill the vision I had for this campaign. The entire project got to be my brain child and being able to see a project of this nature completely to the end was incredibly rewarding. Although it did take quite some work, seeing all of my posters around town, knowing that people are talking about them and having young adults ask me questions about them, is truly fulfilling. I feel as if I’ve made some kind of impact on my peers, and that is exactly what I aimed to do in this position. With that being said, if you’re motivated, organized and creative and looking to have an amazing summer job with some wicked people all while making a difference, then I suggest you send HIV West Yellowhead your résumé. Right. Now.

Well, what are you waiting for?

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Creative Thank Yous

Over the last few months, HIV West Yellowhead has had the privilege of working with the staff and graphic design students at Pixel Blue College in Edmonton. The students gave their time, energy, and imagination to create new media for our organization so that people in our communities may live healthier and safer lives. One of the projects the students worked on was posters promoting getting tested for HIV and sexually transmitted infections. We loved seeing the diversity of creations for this message. You will be seeing all new posters in public restrooms near you this fall!

get tested hipsterAnother major project the students worked on was creating branding and promotional materials for our annual fundraiser Servers Against AIDS Day, which we renamed and revamped this year to Dine 4 Life. We are so appreciative of the added professionalism the chosen design has given to our updated and largest summer fundraiser.

dine for lifeWe would like to say a huge thank you to all the Pixel Blue students and staff who collaborated with us to donate the creation of amazing resources for our organization, we are so appreciative of the time and thoughtfulness given by each and every person. Thank you!

Another generous graphic designer, Courtenay Davidson, donated her skills to putting together our 2014 Safe is Sexy campaign posters. This is her second year volunteering for the campaign and we could not be more thankful for her ability to make things look good, not to mention to work under pressure and on a deadline…sorry Courtenay. Thank you for your support, input, imagination, and patience!

Safe is Sexy - Risky

 

HIV & Aging

This fall, HIV West Yellowhead is hosting a series of educational opportunities in Jasper, Hinton, Edson, and Whitecourt. These Lunch and Learn sessions will take place over the lunch hour so that you do not have to take time out of your already busy schedule to attend. Pack a lunch and join us each month to expand your knowledge about HIV and other health concerns.

The September workshop is HIV & Aging. As innovation in HIV treatment continues, people living with HIV are living out their full lives. This is an amazing achievement over the last 30 years and it means that complications with HIV and aging are only now being discovered. In this session, we will explore some of the issues that people over the age of 50 who are living with HIV might face and ways to improve health.

Click here to register online or contact us for more information.
Check out our events to learn more about the rest of our Lunch and Learn Series.

SEPT Lunch and Learn-HIV & Aging