A variety of educational and discussion groups create opportunities for learning among peers at Perry Wellness Center. Peers sometimes take a leadership role in educating others by sharing information they have learned.
One recent example was a presentation on personal safety by peer Sherry Robinson to a group of peers and staff. Sherry has been attending Perry Wellness Center for two years and likes to keep up to date on what is going on in the world. She explained, “I watch the news at 5:00 a.m. I get up early and get my home chores done as I listen to television and network news.” News report have both alarmed her about safety issues and educated her with some practical facts that she shared.
“We need to increase our awareness of our surroundings when we are in public or at any ATM or card reading machine,” she advised. “When you use your EBT card, there are those who might be watching and can get your access number. Also, if the plastic shield over the terminal is not on tight or may come off, someone may have placed a card reader on the machine. This device can get your number.”
Sherry went on to describe other potentially dangerous situations than can take place in public settings. In one example, she cautioned her audience against accepting cards or similar items offered to them by strangers, as there have been cases in which they were contaminated by drugs. She also noted that some people’s drug use may cause them to seek others’ money and encouraged peers to be aware of their public surroundings.
After the group, Sherry fielded questions from those in attendance. Group session organizer Leslie Poole, who serves as the center’s crisis resolution coordinator, appreciated Sherry’s willingness to educate others. “Information that Sherry shared with the morning group is real,” she confirmed. “She was only trying to make us aware of activities as a warning about current events.”
In the photo above, Sherry Robinson, at right, and peer Essie Fulks, chat after the morning information session.