Katie Jourdan: Northern Michigan Outreach Coordinator

Tell us a little about yourself:
Hi! My name is Katie and I’m a health educator with a love for the field of health promotion running deep in my veins. I get to work alongside youth in my community promoting healthy behaviors and preventing risky behaviors among adolescents. I love my job. I also have an embarrassing love of food, dogs, travel, yoga and *NSYNC.

What does Beforeplay.org mean to you?
Beforeplay.org is above everything, a conversation starter. So many people are afraid to talk about sexual health for fear of embarrassment, judgment, shame or perhaps, even a bit of naivety. Beforeplay.org offers the answers to some of the questions people are dying to know but too afraid to ask…. and, it does it in a non-judgmental, conversational way. It’s like asking your best friend about birth control or STDs, but it’s actually reliable!

How did you get involved in Beforeplay.org?
I was asked to help our local health department create a campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancies within the jurisdiction. So I quickly started researching campaigns that work around the nation (why reinvent the wheel, right?). That’s when I started to fan-girl over Beforeplay.org – it was so current and relatable while offering fantastic information and resources. It was perfect!

What is your favorite Beforeplay.org outreach item and why?
My favorite outreach items have to be the “That’s What He Said” and “That’s What She Said” stickers. First, they’re just funny. Second, it implies that people are talking, and that’s exactly what Beforeplay.org is trying to get people to do.

What have you learned since being involved with Beforeplay.org?
Asking people in our area to give feedback on Beforeplay.org has opened my eyes even more to the lack of conversation around sexual health in Northern Michigan. I’m a sex ed teacher…. I get it – young adults don’t really talk to their parents about sexual health. But they aren’t necessarily talking to their partners or their health care providers either. If we want to be safe and sexy, we need to start normalizing the conversation.

Has Beforeplay.org impacted you in any way and how?
It has given me a platform to start the conversation. I can say “have you seen Beforeplay.org” to nurses, administrators, teenagers, friends, family, coalition members, anyone… and I have an immediate opening to start talking about sexual health in a safe, reliable zone.