Tiffany Thompson has become the new program director of the Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP) at Philadelphia FIGHT, where she’ll expand outreach to at-risk youth ages 13 to 24. “We find ourselves in a bubble, where everyone knows the facts about HIV and sexual health,” says Thompson. “But when we go out into the world, you see that a lot of young people don’t know about these programs, and that there’s a serious gap in the knowledge of HIV treatment and information. When you include homelessness and past trauma, this becomes a lot of a young person to handle.”
The Georgetown University grad got a masters in communications from Temple University before joining the Y-HEP team three years ago. Now, she’s helping to expand the empowerment center, clinical and therapy programs, as well as dance4life, pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis support groups, and new efforts that target men of color who have sex with other men.
“Often young people’s voices are silenced by other individuals who do not value them,” she says. “Let’s bring them here to Y-HEP – address their basic needs such as food and clothing – and at the same time, show them a place with a community of people, like our talented staff who understand the issues that they are dealing with.”
Click here to find out more about Y-HEP (1417 Locust Street).