Johnathan Rodríguez Báez is the Youth & Health Resource Center Coordinator for Berks Teens Matters. Has a BA in Education from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and loves to read, explore and being involved in the community. He also holds a position in the executive board of the Reading Pride Celebration!
The Health Resource Center at Reading High School is confidential, free, and teen-friendly! It is a safe place for Reading High School students to get answers to questions about abstinence, sexual health, how to get birth control, STD/HIV testing, and more!
A Note from Johnathan!
The HRC is supported by a group of youth from RHS, our Berks Teens Matter Youth Ambassadors. They spread the word about what the HRC has to offer and run a number of health campaigns throughout the school year, including National Condom Week, Healthy Relationships Month, PRIDE Month, and World AIDS Day.
In addition, they are educated on some of the popular topics that I cover in the HRC, so they’re experts too, supporting and educating peers in their community. They answer so many questions from fellow students! But, if a student needs more information or just needs a private space to be able to talk openly, a Youth Ambassador refers them to me. Our YAs are educated on topics like healthy relationships, anatomy, consent, safe sex, contraceptives, and STDs.
Each week brings new challenges, lots of questions and new students. And I see returning students, too. All students are seen one-on-one and free of charge. Sometimes they’re easy questions to answer and sometimes they’re hard for students to ask, but there are no questions off limits because we don’t believe in taboos. Also, if a student speaks Spanish or just prefers it, we can make it happen because we are bilingual!
Most of all, I am inspired by the students that visit the HRC. Coming to a place like the HRC where they know they can get information and take a part in their responsibility of being educated on the facts is brave and it’s something to be proud of. I love being the person on the other side of that door who says,
‘Hola, I’m Johnathan! Let’s Talk!’