Hi, my name is Helen “Ellie” Blue and I am a student at Garrison Forest School (private and girls-only) in Owings Mills, MD. Since January, I have interned at the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health (CAH) through the Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) program.

At the CAH, I’ve learned about common adolescent health issues. I reviewed data from evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs like It’s Your Game and Making Proud Choices that are taught by health educators in Baltimore City Schools. I was also introduced to a national study called the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (commonly known as the YRBS), which is a survey that is administered every other year to students across the country. Students are asked questions about safety while driving, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual health.

Upper School students at Garrison Forest learn health information in Decision Making I and II, but the instructors do not use It’s Your Game or Making Proud Choices curricula and we do not complete the YRBS surveys. So, I thought it would be interesting to find out what students at my school, Baltimore City students, and Maryland students have in common and ways we might be different.

I worked with my WISE mentors to develop an online survey for my classmates. The YRBS has many questions, but I only included 20 questions in the survey which I will send to my classmates. All of the questions are similar to the questions students respond to in the YRBS.

I will soon send the survey to students at my school. That way, I will be able to compare responses in relation to three key health domains: safety, alcohol and drug use, and sexual health.

I predict that there will more similarities that one would think. If there are differences, I would like to explore why. The survey will be administered and collected by the end of May and I will share the results.

Stay tuned!

Intern, Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health
Student, Garrison Forest School