Promoting Equitable COVID-19 Vaccination through Peer-to-Peer Youth Outreach


FACES peer educators handing out information at a high school event

During the COVID pandemic, PHI’s FACES for the Future program pivoted quickly to provide education and support, including training students from its FACES Public Health Youth Corps as peer COVID vaccine educators. Working in four states, the peer educators provided information about the COVID vaccine and other ways to stop the spread of the virus and had the opportunity to participate in certification courses.

300 students trained by FACES as peer COVID vaccine educators

86 zip codes in four states where students worked

21 languages spoken by peer educators providing COVID and vaccine information

In 2021 PHI’s FACES for the Future program (FACES) pivoted its high school health professional training initiative to build a teen COVID peer educator workforce. The Public Health Youth Corps  trained 300 youth in California, New Mexico, Colorado and Michigan as peer educators. Students learned how to talk to their friends, families and community members about the COVID vaccine and about other ways to stop the spread of COVID.  About three-hundred FACES students participated in the program and also had the opportunity to participate in certification courses for CPR/First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, Stop the Bleed training and Narcan/Opioid Overdose Intervention training.

The peer educators worked in 86 zip codes, speaking 21 languages. They connected with peers and families to educate communities that have been hard hit by the virus, covering topics including mask wearing, social distancing, and vaccinations. 

FACES trains high school students primarily from low-income communities of color to provide support and opportunity to youth who are seeking options to improve their lives and to address the lack of diversity in the health professions that contributes to health disparities in diverse communities.

Learn more about the program on the FACES website. Below, see videos from some of the FACES peer educators (and see more on the FACES YouTube channel).

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