California: Sunnyvale, Saratoga Teens Educating Peers About Hepatitis B Virus
August 31, 2007
On Aug. 12, three Valley-area teens were recognized for their hepatitis B awareness outreach by Stanford's Asian Liver Center (ALC), the only US nonprofit that addresses the virus' impact among Asians and Asian-Americans. Catherine Chiu, 17, of Saratoga, and Cupertino residents Daniel Kim, 16, and Alina Wong, 16, each received a $500 scholarship for their efforts.
The teens were recognized at ALC's fifth annual Youth Leadership Conference, which aims to educate high school students about the virus. The students said they plan to use the scholarship money for further awareness projects in their schools and communities, which are predominantly Asian.
"You read about AIDS in textbooks, but what about hepatitis B?" said Kim. "This disease is more dominant among Asians, so I feel passionate telling people about it." "It feels good to set an example for the high school students because this tells them that outreach is possible."
The three teens are members of the Jade Ribbon Youth Council, an organization that aims to increase hepatitis B awareness in Asian communities, with a focus on outreach to high schools.
As members of a technology-savvy generation, Kim and Wong used media such as YouTube and e-mail to reach out to their peers. Kim created a video, End of the World: Hepatitis B, which he showed at a weekly student body meeting. Wong, who attends Monta Vista High School, sent e-mails to parents informing them about an awareness night she had organized.
Kim and Chiu, students at The Harker School, put up posters with statistical information about the virus, and offered free jade-colored lanyards to students who correctly answered survey questions.
All three share the common aim of continuing their awareness efforts. "I hope people can see how big this disease is among Asians and Asian-Americans," said Kim.
San Jose Mercury News
08.29.2007; Cynthia Law
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.