Peer Engagement & Knowledge

Teaches Youth at Risk to Make Healthier Life Choices

The PEAK program is designed to promote social emotional learning using group interaction where at-risk youth learn to support each other and work together to solve a task or problem around issues such as anger, failure and goal setting. The PEAK program has also been successful in increasing and reinforcing connectedness to the community, self-image and pro-social behaviors. Recently, PEAK has added mindfulness work which guides youth through several mediation activities and promotes a increase in health and physical well-being.

Youth decreased in their substance use
Youth increased in their coping skills
Youth increased in their personal self-image


Youth in East Hawaii between the ages of 14 and 19.


East Hawaii


Services are provided at locations in the community using local facilities in the Hilo-Laupahoehoe-Waiakea and Kau-Keaau-Pahoa school complexes.  Each group meets twice a week for six weeks.
• Increasing healthy behaviors & relationships
• Pregnancy and substance use prevention
• Identifying personal triggers
• Using peer support and small group skill-building sessions
• Building participant’s skills in problem solving and personal assertiveness
• Strengthening skills in HIV/AIDS and STD harm reduction


Family Programs Hawaii

JoYi Rhyss

"I’ve had to go to health classes before but this was different. It taught me things I didn’t know before and some of it was scary stuff, but the choices I make can keep me safe." – 18 year old participant
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