The members of the Teen AIDS Council (TAC) provide peer education about HIV and AIDS and its prevention. TAC members, who have grown up knowing about AIDS, are committed to breaking the stereotypes about people who are infected with HIV and AIDS. They are equally committed to educating their peers about how to prevent new infections. As if that isn’t enough, Teen AIDS Council members also support the AIDS Task Force and its clients through fund-raising and volunteer efforts.
For most of the year (with occasional breaks for holidays and vacations) members of the Teen AIDS Council meet every Wednesday from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the AIDS Task Force office. These weekly sessions sometimes focus on HIV training for the members, sometimes include rehearsals for the acting troupe, and sometimes simply involve fun.
In addition to their regular meetings, members of TAC often get involved in providing direct volunteer services to persons living with HIV/AIDS. In the past these teenage volunteers have assisted clients in lawn care and housekeeping. Members of TAC also help with office projects on occasion and have been great volunteer additions at task force events like the annual AIDS Walk.
One of the most creative recent accomplishments of the Teen AIDS Council is its acting troupe. As a way to provide relevant and interactive education for their peers, the teens write original vignettes about HIV and AIDS and perform them for other teens. For this innovative approach to education, the Teen AIDS Council won a 1999 “15 Who Care” award, an award recognizing valuable volunteer contributions to the community.
Besides its dedication to education, the Teen AIDS Council raises money for the AIDS Task Force with an annual Teen Prom Fashion Show. Between modeling prom dresses and tuxedos, members of TAC educate their teenage audience about HIV and AIDS.
Finally, to keep their energy level high, members of TAC go bowling together, occasionally go out to eat, and plan other social events throughout the year.
If you are between the ages of 15 and 21 and have a desire to help in the AIDS arena, the Teen AIDS Council could be the thing for you. Teens from throughout northeast Indiana (Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley Counties) are encouraged to get involved.