"Empowering Tomorrow's Relationships: The Crucial Role of Healthy Relationship Classes for Teens"

TCI Blog By: Tiffany Martinez, Tu Casa, Inc. Outreach & Education Coordinator

If you would have asked 15-year-old Tiffany what I knew about healthy relationships, I would have stared at you with a blank expression, while my mind wandered through the memories of my childhood and the relationships I’d witnessed which molded me into the teen I was. No one had talked to me about the importance of healthy boundaries, relationship red flags, or the definition and concept of consent. I hadn’t heard these words, let alone been taught about them, in school or at home.

Fast forward to 2023, when I first joined Tu Casa, Inc. I knew my role as an Education & Outreach Coordinator would involve interacting with the local youth, but I hardly knew how important being an educator on healthy relationships would become to me, and the lasting impact it would make in the lives of the young people I connected with. 


When Tu Casa, Inc. gets asked to present to a class, I work strategically with the teachers/counselors to identify specific relationship-related topics of concern within the school. For example, we discuss whether school staff have witnessed issues with students not respecting personal boundaries or if there have been issues with age- inappropriate sexual behaviors, such as sexting. Once an area of focus is determined, I work with Tu Casa, Inc.’s Youth Representative, Chenoa Candy, to look through the curricula we utilize to identify which sessions would be beneficial to the group of students we’d be presenting too. If our curriculum doesn’t have an appropriate lesson, Chenoa and I will work together to create a presentation specific to the needs of the group. As part of the lesson, we always ensure to incorporate fun activities that draw engagement and participation from the students. 


During the summer of 2023, Tu Casa, Inc. facilitated a 6-week Healthy Relationships Camp, funded by the LOR Foundation, in which Chenoa and I were able to teach healthy relationships to a group of middle school students who live in the Monte Vista area.  Each session, Tu Casa, Inc. would provide lunch to the students before completing the weekly lesson and finishing the day off doing a fun activity, such as tie dying, bowling, or even having a water balloon fight with the Monte Vista Police Department. As an incentive to participate regularly, each student that participated in and completed the 6-week session were awarded a $100.00 gift card for their dedication to learning. Chenoa and I were so proud to see how well received this Healthy Relationship Camp was, and how grateful students were for it. We even had students asking if Tu Casa, Inc. would be doing a second session of our Healthy Relationship Camp that summer! It is so rewarding to see our local youth having fun and learning things that will benefit them their whole lives.


I’m so thankful to be Tu Casa, Inc.’s Education & Outreach Coordinator; I’ve found a passion for teaching healthy relationships to the youth throughout the San Luis Valley. I firmly believe that empowering these students with the skills and knowledge to build respectful and compassionate connections, not only enhances their well-being, but also contributes to creating a future society rooted in empathy, understanding, and lasting harmony.


If you're interesting in learning more about how Tu Casa, Inc. helps educate our local youth and fosters healthy teen dating relationships, or if you're looking to book a Healthy Relationship Class for your school, call (719) 589-2465 and ask to talk to Tiffany!