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 meditation activities and promotes a increase in health and physical well-being.



JoYi Rhyss




Percent of Youth decreased in their substance use

Percent of Youth in reased their coping skills

Percent of Youth increased their personal self image

Peer Engagement & Knowledge

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


Youth in East Hawaii between the ages of 14 and 19


East Hawaii, Hawaii Island

Youth Voices

“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

JoYi Rhyss


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