Kate: Northern Michigan Outreach Team Member

Tell us a little about yourself:

Hi, all! My name is Kate Donaldson and I am a health educator at a local health department in West Michigan. I have the best job in the world, working in youth substance use prevention. I am currently working on a Master of Public Health graduate degree from Grand Valley State University. In my free time (funny), I enjoy everything about a Michigan summer- kayaking, hiking, camping, weekend trips, and BBQ’s.

What does Beforeplay.org mean to you?
Beforeplay.org fulfills young people’s curiosity about sexual health. Beforeplay.org allows you to make an informed decision about your sexual health needs; it gives you all the facts and then empowers you to make a decision that is right for you.

How did you get involved in Beforeplay.org? (maybe talk about your interest in health/sexual health)
My interest for sexual health sparked while at university. I had the opportunity to talk with a group of 15 young men at a court-ordered alternative high school. Mind you, I was 20 years young and still figuring out the whole scope of sexual health. Conversations flowed and questions were asked; the young men didn’t hold any questions back. This experience proved that conversations about sexual health don’t have to be taboo and Beforeplay.org keeps conversations like these going.

What is your favorite Beforeplay.org outreach item and why?
While it is definitely hard to choose, my favorite is “Ride Safety” swag. I like the fact that this saying can mean different things based on individual perspectives. It can mean using contraception to prevent pregnancy/STDs, consensual sex, etc.

What have you learned since being involved with Beforeplay.org?
Beforeplay.org keeps me informed, too! I often find myself looking up Q & A’s on the website and reading the latest blog posts. I think it is important to remember when talking with people about sexual health; I don’t always have an answer. Beforeplay.org helps me to start conversations but often the people I talk to keep them going!