Alumni Details

Jessica Shields, BS, CHES

Major: Community Health Education, Class of 2007

Position: Health Educator & Trainer

Agency: Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern NJ

Jessica describes her experience since graduating with her degree from WPU in 2007:  “I am Health Educator and Trainer with Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern NJ who specializes in working with high risk youth. I have been working in this position for eight years and in doing so I deliver evidence based, developmentally and age appropriate sex education in the community. The job requires working with local organizations, businesses, and schools in order to conduct sessions with people from different ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds about an array of sexual health topics. As a trainer, I have facilitated workshops with professionals in the community, both locally and nationally. To do this, I have had to conduct needs assessments, then develop and implement the workshops as a lead or co-lead on topics such as healthy relationships, pregnancy prevention, contraception, STIs, sexual orientation, and media literacy. I have been invited (twice) by NJEA, and other organizations such as AASECT and NJ AHPERD to present at their annual conferences. Among my many responsibilities, one of my most favorite is being co-chair of the Planned Parenthood Teen Conference. I have been co-chair for the past 3 years, and in doing so have aided in the expansion of this conference by increasing it from one location, to two; converting the administrative process into an electronic/paperless format; using social media and electronic marketing strategies; upsizing the plenary sessions to include over 20 community resources; and creating a youth engagement project where teens can present a workshop, be a panelist, develop a PSA, or act as an ambassador. The conference is attended by approximately 450 adolescents from throughout NJ and emphasizes leadership, empowerment, health, and access to community resources.  One of my professional highlights is that I am the coauthor of Game On! The Ultimate Sexuality Education Gaming Guide. This gave me the expertise in creating and field-testing game strategies in the classroom and enabled me to co-present the opening plenary on using game strategies at the annual sex education conference given by The Center for Sex Education, where I trained more than 250 youth-serving professionals to understand theoretical approaches to the use of educational game strategies, and to utilize the game strategies my colleague and I created. In addition, being an educator and trainer has enabled me to help plan professional conferences for the Center for Sex Education. I had to aid in the design and implementation of the conference, peer review proposals, apply and administer various continuing education credits.  I have been published in the American Journal of Sexuality Education and I am a contributing author to Changes, Changes, Changes: Great Methods for Puberty Education; How I Got Into Sex…Ed; Older, Wiser, Sexually Smarter: 30 Sex Ed Lessons for Adults Only; Sex Ed in the Digital Age; Teaching Safer Sex (3rd Edition); and Positive Images (4rd Edition).” (October, 2015)