Our House

Young people change when they are creators of their reality. If you give them guidance and room to grow and to create, they will surprise you with their earnest work, depth of feeling, and creative pursuits.

For nearly 20 years, the HAS Program has been an adult guided, youth-led HIV/AIDS/STD Prevention and Awareness peer education program in the Twin Cities.  The idea of peer education is simple. Youth cultures differ from one another and can be very different from adult cultures. The HAS Program has worked with street-cultured youth and gang-involved youth. Where these youth gather, how they speak, what they practice, and why they have the expectations they have differ from other youth and adults. Consequently, they are the best conveyors in their own language of factual, useful health and prevention information.

The focus is creating community norms for self-respect and understanding, and for the need to protect one another from sexually transmitted infections. Peer education is not solely about each one teach one, each one reach one. Community change happens through a “diffusion of innovation” in much the same way word-of-mouth works to promote a new hotspot or place to eat. It is impossible with the limited resources available to reach all the youth who are in need of HIV/AIDS/STD prevention information. Peer education succeeds because youth leaders, youth promoters, youth who have rank in the community step out and say it’s OK to do it this way, safer and protected.

Since moving to High School for Recording Arts in January 2011, we have changed our name to the Check Yo’ Self Health and Wellness Center. In the Twin Cities, youth programs began consolidating several years ago. Many once vibrant programs shut their doors permanently. However, the need has not evaporated. The need is greater now than it’s ever been. Teen pregnancy prevention, nutrition, chemical dependency, and other concerns youth live daily are now a daily part of our work.  Current Check Yo’ Self  Health and Wellness Center programs are as follows:

HIV/AIDS/STD Prevention & Awareness

The HAS Program featuring The Check Yo’ Self Crew (CYC) will give the ”need to know information” regarding HIV/AIDS/STD education and prevention information, and will distribute condoms to inner-city African American females and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) ages 13-24 on the level that is best understood and received.


The HSRA Check Yo’ Self Health and Wellness Program administers the SIHLE (pronounced See-lay) curriculum, a CDC approved Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Intervention (DEBI).  The Swahili translation of the word SIHLE is, “beautiful,” and is often used as a woman’s name in Africa.  SIHLE is an acronym for Sisters Informing, Healing, Living, and Empowering.  The DEBI curriculum, SIHLE, is a culturally specific, peer-led, intervention program that includes group-level social-skills training aimed at reducing HIV risk behaviors among sexually active African American teenage females, ages 14 – 18.


The HSRA Check Yo’ Self Health and Wellness Program administers Safer Choices, a Center for Disease Control (CDC) approved, evidence-based curriculum taught during health and science classes in participating high schools. The Safer Choices program includes the following components:  HIV/STI and teen pregnancy prevention curriculum; experiential activities included to build communication skills, delaying sex, and using condoms.


Sister 2 Sister (S2S) is a brief 20-minute, one-on-one, skill-based HIV/STD risk-reduction behavioral CDC-approved intervention for sexually active African American women, ages 18 – 45, that is delivered during the course of a routine medical visit.

copyright 2013 Check Yo\'Self Health & Wellness Center