Violence Prevention Peer Educators

As Violence Prevention Peer Educators, we start by believing victim/survivors

Start by Believing Video

What does being a Violence Prevention Peer-Educator consist of?

Applications to be a Violence Prevention Peer Educator are closed for the academic year of 2021/2022. Applications will reopen August of 2022. 

All of our workshops are facilitated by our Violence Prevention Peer Educators who have had, and continue to go through, extensive training on facilitation skills, sexual violence, interpersonal violence, stalking, gender-based harassment, power & control, and best practices and research.

To become a Violence Prevention Peer Educator, you will undergo an application process, brief interview, 15+ hours of mandatory paid training, and are expected to attend weekly 1 hour team meetings. Peer-eds build their own schedules and take shifts to facilitate workshops as they are requested. We hire Violence Prevention Peer Educators based off of their willingness and ability to learn and adapt, and look for individuals who are interested in advocating for victim/survivors, having vulnerable conversations, and doing self-work. 

What are our violence prevention workshops about?

All violence prevention workshops are created to challenge attitudes and beliefs around gender-based violence and are trauma-informed and victim/survivor centered. Although each workshop has a different focus, all programs include tangible tools on how to cultivate a culture of support that honors all experiences with gender-based violence.

To see a full list of our programs or to request a customized workshop, click here 

Meet our Violence Prevention Peer Educators!

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Tiarrah Judkins (she/her) 

Melissa Urieta (she/her) 

Emma Bruns (she/her) 

Tiarrah Judkins (She/Her/Hers) is a sophomore at Grand Valley majoring in nursing with a minor in writing. She currently is a Peer Educator here at the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity. Tiarrah has a passion for educating others about common misconceptions about victim/survivors and she looks forward to spreading awareness at Grand Valley. 

Melissa Urieta is a junior here at GV studying anthropology with a minor in history. Melissa is super excited to be working as a peer educator, as it’s something that is super important to her. Melissa believes these topics need to be discussed, especially on a college campus.

Hello my name is Emma Bruns (she/her/hers) and I work as one of the Peer Educators for PEP Talks. I have been a peer educator for PEP Talks since January 2019. I’m a junior majoring in social work and minoring in human rights. 

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Jenna Thornton (she/her/hers)

Jay Chappa

Kaitlynn Karl (she/her) 

Jenna Thornton (she/her/hers) is a junior majoring in Social Work with a minor in Criminal Justice. She hopes to work within the criminal justice system as an advocate for prison, jail, and corrections reform. Jenna is also a Resident Assistant on campus and is very passionate about getting students involved in discussions about social justice, as well as advocating for those who experience injustice in society. This is Jenna’s first year as a Violence Prevention Peer Educator and she is very excited to help educate the Grand Valley Community on important issues surrounding gender based violence. 

Jay is a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Advertising & Public Relations. Besides being a Peer Educator, they are involved in the Laker Marching Band, Kappa Kappa Psi, and serve as President of Campus Activities Board. Jay is so excited for their first year as Peer Educator for the CWGE and to be advocating for their fellow Lakers!

Kaitlynn (she/her/hers) is a junior at Grand Valley and majoring in Social Work with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. She is passionate about volunteering as a victim advocate for the YWCA of West Michigan in Grand Rapids. She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to educate and advocate for students with the CWGE. 

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Taegan A. Byers (she/her/hers)

Taegan is a sophomore at Grand Valley majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Political Science and Chemistry. In addition to being a peer educator, she is the president of Students for Choice, the Chair of the Sexual Assault Awareness Subcommittee, a Student Senator, a member of Students for Food Sovereignty and a reproductive rights activist in the community. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend medical school with hopes to become an Obstetrician-Gynecologist and specialize in family planning. Her dream job would be acting as the medical director of Planned Parenthood. In her free time, she enjoys drinking coffee, going to the dog park with her husky, Leilani, and spending time with family and friends. Taegan is very excited to work with Leah and the rest of the amazing individuals at The Center for Women and Gender Equity!

Page last modified February 16, 2022