HIP Day honors the Health Information Project, a nonprofit organization that trains high school juniors and seniors to teach their fellow ninth graders about health issues. The annual event at Marlins Park brings the juniors and seniors together to swap stories and tips.
“One thousand teenagers that are changing the future of Miami,” founder Risa Berrin said at the opening of the event. “Today is a day to celebrate you, to talk about health issues that kids and teenagers are facing and to raise our voices to address those issues together. “
Berrin, a Miami Palmetto Senior High graduate, began the program after realizing while teaching street law classes at Miami Senior High and Coral Reef Senior High that students were dealing with a multitude of health issues without knowing about resources that could help.
“I kind of recognized that there were not a lot of health issues that were not being addressed,” Berrin said. “I saw a tremendous need.”
She spent a year developing the program. Students sign up to be peer health educators in 10th grade and commit to two years in order to train the new crop of educators. Students also learn public speaking skills. Faculty members at each school oversee the program.