Rockland Family Shelter Offers Teens Training In Social Activism

High School students eligible for annual four-day program


Rockland County high school students can get training as activists for social change through the Rockland Family Shelter’s Student Activists Ending Dating Abuse (SAEDA) program. They are also eligible to earn community service credits and get paid a stipend.

The August 2012 training session is open to ninth through 12th grade students. Students will discuss and explore issues of healthy dating relationships, dating abuse, all oppressions and other social justice issues.  According to the Rockland Family Shelter, one out of every four teens has reported abuse while dating.

“Young people taking the program can acquire leadership and organizing skills, as well as an understanding of the issues and causes of dating, domestic, and sexual abuse,” said Rockland Family Shelter Director of Education Laura Plotkin. “We use videos, discussion, role-play and other activities to give students a chance to explore sexism, racism, media, gender role stereotyping and all forms of oppression that contribute to abuse.”

Students, who complete the training program, can become members of SAEDA, remain active as co presenters and help their peers by being resources of assistance, information and referrals. They will also strategize as a group on how they can contribute to positive social change in their communities. Applications are due by June 15 and can be obtained by contacting Laura Plotkin at (845) 634-3344 or lplotkin@rocklandfamilyshelter.org.    

The SAEDA Program is scheduled to take place at the Palisades Center in West Nyack from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. from August 20th through August 23rd.  Participants completing the training will be eligible for a stipend provided through the DELTA Project, a program funded by the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The DELTA Project helps to support the community by working together to prevent intimate partner violence. Rockland is only one of three New York counties selected to participate in DELTA.

Students who have completed the training and have chosen to remain actively involved in the program have reflected, “everyone can say what they think and feel.”   For information on RFS programs or services for dating, domestic or sexual violence call the 24-hour hotline at (845) 634 3344 or go to their website.   


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