Training & Professional Development

About training

Our experienced trainers help youth-serving adults build their capacity to support adolescents’ healthy youth development and sexual health. We offer evidence-based, fun, interactive adolescent health education and professional development on a range of topics: whether you choose an in-person, full-day Foundations course or build your own virtual training event from our flexible menu, we can help make “best practice” your team or agency’s regular practice. 

How can we help your team?

We can help your team learn a new curriculum, brush up on the basics, or build your own professional development adventure, virtually or in person. We cap group size for both formats at 25 participants. Pricing correlates to training hours required, and depends on duration, format, and the number of trainers needed. Most half-day trainings start at $900; and most full-day trainings start at $1,800. We have contract experience with diverse organizational structures. Summers tend to be our busiest season, booking out 2-3 months in advance.

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Evidence-based sexual health curricula

All4You! & All4You2!
Be Proud! Be Responsible!
Be Proud! Be Responsible! Be Protective!
Becoming a Responsible Teen (BART)
¡Cuidate!
Draw the Line, Respect the Line
Encuentro
FLASH (Family Life and Sexual Health) Training of Educators (TOE)
IN•clued
It's That Easy: A Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children
Making a Difference
Making Proud Choices
Making Proud Choices! An Adaptation for Youth in Out-of-Home Care
Positive Prevention Plus
Prime Time
Project MARS (Motivating Adolescents to Reduce Sexual Risk)
Promoting Health Among Teens - Abstinence-only
Promoting Health Among Teens - Comprehensive
Reducing the Risk
Safer Choices
Safer Sex Intervention
Seventeen Days
SHARP (Sexual Health and Adolescent Risk Behavior)
Teen Outreach Program
3Rs - Rights, Respect, Responsibility: A K-12 Sexuality Education Curriculum

Healthy Youth Development topics

Adolescent Development 101 (1-3 hrs)
Review the physical and emotional changes that occur in adolescence, practice responding to young peoples’ questions, and connect to supportive local and national resources.

Answering Young People’s Questions (2-3 hrs)
Build safe, supportive learning environments that encourage young people to ask questions, and answer them with facts, humor, and clear personal boundaries. 

Circles of Sexuality (1-2 hrs)
Learn how humans experience and express their sexuality through sensuality, intimacy, identity, behavior, reproduction, and sexualization, and connect the “circles” through individual attitudes, values, and beliefs.

Coercion, Consent, and Refusal Skills: What Young People Should Know  (1-2 hrs)
Learn legal contexts for consent (mandated reporting, minor’s consent), how consent culture can reduce sexual violence, and how to empower youth to assert their values and boundaries.

Creating Safe Spaces (1-2 hrs)
Grow your ability to create safe spaces through group agreements, ice-breakers, setting expectations, and designing a fun, welcoming physical environment. 

Minnesota’s Adolescent Sexual Health Report (ASHR)  (1.5-3 hrs)
Analyze the most recent Minnesota youth sexual health data and trends, compare MN to its regional and national peers, and translate this information into serving youth better. 

National Sexuality Education Standards (1-3 hrs)
Review the NSES’ evidence-based recommendations for K-12 sex education core content and skills, and explore how to apply NSES in your youth-serving settings.  

Seeing Young People through Rose Colored Glasses (1 - 2 hours)
Learn the basics of adolescent development, how social determinants of health can impact their ability to complete their developmental tasks, and how using this lens can build your capacity.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (1-3 hours)
Review basic terms through a social justice lens, learn the impacts of related -isms on youth, and make use of evidence-based tools for supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ youth.

Sex-Positive Abstinence Education (1-2 hours)
Examine your personal values about abstinence, identify the positive and negative abstinence messages youth hear, and practice turning negative sexual health messages into positive ones. 

Summer Institute in Adolescent Health (3 days)
Build your capacity by engaging with the latest adolescent health research, and applying it through multi-level, hands-on training. Contact Jenna Baumgartner at 
[email protected].

Supporting Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators (2 hrs - 2 days)
Grow your capacity to support parents as they connect with their children; share their values; and engage them in meaningful conversations about sex, sexuality, and relationships.

Skills-building for healthcare professionals

TALK: Toolkit for Adolescent Care
Support your adolescent healthcare practice with TALK: Toolkit for Adolescent Care’s resources and training. TALK provides skills, scripts, and examples that can be put to immediate use, and can adapt to your team’s needs. Settings range from one-hour “Lunch and Learns” to an 8-week ECHO format. A multi-session format builds participants’ Motivational Interviewing skills – and opportunities to apply them – using supportive one-page TALK tools. For more information visit our TALK page or contact Chris Mehus at [email protected]

Minnesota Reproductive and Sexual Health Update (full day)
Increase your knowledge of the latest reproductive health practices, research, and technology at this annual training featuring keynote speakers and workshops on contraception, STI/HIV, and working with marginalized populations and diverse political contexts. Co-sponsored with Health Care Education and Training (HCET). Contact Jill Farris at [email protected].

Adolescent Health Summer Institute (3 days)
Build your capacity by engaging with the latest adolescent health research, and applying it through multi-level, hands-on training. For more information visit our
AHSI page or contact Jenna Baumgartner at [email protected].

YouthCHAT Educators/Advisory Board
Build the capacity of healthcare professionals and professionals-in-training through role-playing / simulations, interviews, and interventions with adolescents in clinical settings. This cohort of young educators, employed by the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, also consult on DOGPAH projects. For more information visit our YouthChat page or contact Lynn Bretl at [email protected]

Skills-building for sexuality educators

Anatomy and Puberty (1 hour)
Develop fun and engaging presentations on the fundamentals of anatomy and puberty. We help you make it inclusive, culturally-relevant, and responsive to where your young people are now.

Answering Young People’s Questions (2-3 hours)
Build safe, supportive learning environments that encourage young people to ask questions, and answer them with facts, humor, and clear personal boundaries. 

Barrier Method Demonstrations (1 hour)
Become a self-assured demonstrator of external condoms, internal condoms, and dental dams with our useful tips and opportunities for hands-on practice on anatomical models. 

Coercion, Consent, and Refusal Skills: What Young People Should Know (1-2 hours)
Learn legal contexts for consent (mandated reporting, minor’s consent), how consent culture can reduce sexual violence, and how to empower youth to assert their values and boundaries.

Contraceptive Methods (1 hour)
Access UMN’s latest research and best practices in this review of contraceptive methods and teaching strategies. Practice what you learn with supportive peers.

Creating Safe Spaces (1-2 hrs)
Grow your ability to create safe spaces through group agreements, ice-breakers, setting expectations, and designing a fun, welcoming physical environment. 

Foundations: Core Skills-Building Workshop for Sexuality Educators (full day)
Implement high-quality sex education using any curriculum: create safe, inclusive, and fun learning environments; facilitate diverse groups with cultural sensitivity; navigate questions; and facilitate meaningful skills-building and values exploration.

Foundations: Supplemental Topics Workshops (2 - 3 hours each)
Choose one of these four topics to supplement your Core Skills-Building Workshop:

  • Facilitation Skills for Common Sex Education Strategies Explore some core skills for effective facilitation of commonly-used strategies in sex education programs: role-play, values exploration, sorting, and small group activities. 
     
  • Cultural Competence in Sex Education
    Consider theory, diversity in students, how to identify assumptions in values statements and challenging questions, and the roles of power and privilege.  
     
  • LGBTQ+-Inclusive Sex Education
    Build skills that center LGBTQ+ data, LGBTQ+ terms, creating inclusive environments, responding to challenging questions, and using the Experiential Learning Cycle. 
     
  • A Trauma-Informed Approach to Sex Education
    Explore the meaning of trauma, the components of a trauma-informed approach, and how to create trauma-informed content for the young people you serve. 

High Quality Facilitation (HQF) (1-2 hours)
Polish your lesson planning, facilitation, and creative scaffolding, modeling, and coaching. Work in small groups to maximize each component to welcome and empower young people.

“How-to” Facilitations (1 hour - full day)
Observe your curriculum’s lessons on birth control, condoms, consent, healthy relationships, puberty and anatomy, abstinence, and STIs. Pose your “what if” questions in real time. 

Minnesota Reproductive and Sexual Health Update (full day)
Increase your knowledge of the latest reproductive health practices, research, and technology at this annual training featuring keynote speakers and workshops on contraception, STI/HIV, and working with marginalized populations and diverse political contexts. Co-sponsored with Health Care Education and Training (HCET). Contact Jill Farris at [email protected].

Pregnancy Options (1-2 hours)
Learn how to bring a supportive, non-judgmental social justice lens to your conversations with young people about abortion, adoption, parenting, values, and stigma. 

Self-Disclosure and Professional Boundaries (1 hour)
Explore best practice guidelines for sex educator self-disclosure, and decide your own process and rationale for disclosing personal information when teaching sexual health education.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression 101 (1-3 hours)
Review basic terms through a social justice lens, learn the impacts of related -isms on youth, and make use of evidence-based tools for supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ youth.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression 201 (1-3 hours)
Use an intersectional lens to examine heterosexual and cisgender biases, and expand your understanding of educators’ crucial role in supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ youth. 

Sex-Positive Abstinence Education (1-2 hours)
Examine your personal values around abstinence, and the positive and negative abstinence messages youth hear, and practice turning negative sexual health messages into positive ones. 

Sexually-Transmitted Infections (1-2 hours)
Build your capacity to teach best practices (communication skills, role play) about STIs. Review common STIs, current testing and treatment guidelines, and connect to current resources. 

Summer Institute in Adolescent Health (3 days)
Build your capacity by engaging with the latest adolescent health research, and applying it through multi-level, hands-on training. Contact Jenna Baumgartner at 
[email protected].

Teachbacks (1 hour - full day)
Practice facilitating various activities from the curriculum of your choice in a space full of sex education trainers and fellow educators who are rooting for you.

[Link to Advocates for Youth’s Racial Justice in Sex Education resources]

Technical assistance for any audience

Educate your school board about sex ed
Write a pro-sexuality-education “pitch” and responses to the opposition’s talking points, and role play the key players (Superintendent, School Board, speakers) to prep for a successful school board meeting. 

Choose a sex ed curriculum
Are you having trouble selecting a sex ed curriculum for your program, school or district? We can help you identify your goals and standards you would like to address and help match a curriculum to fit your needs. 

Plan your sex ed curriculum
Sex Ed curriculums are not always one-size-fits all. If you are not finding what you need from one curriculum, we can help you develop an education plan that incorporates your goals and objectives for your program, school or district. 

Evaluate your sex ed curriculum

Design a teen-friendly clinic
Learn about best practices for designing and implementing a teen-friendly clinic. Learn what you can put in your clinic and how your clinic staff can be welcoming to young people. 

Onboard and support your organization’s sex ed staff
Is sex education new to your organization, your bandwidth is stretched and you could use support, or you are just looking for new ways to shake up your on-boarding experience? We can help you build a comprehensive on-boarding plan catered to new and tenured sex educators. 

Capacity-building for State Adolescent Health Coordinators and MCH professionals

Youth Advisory Boards for the win-win
Is your organization seeking to engage youth in leadership development? We can support you in a step-by-step process, including an internal needs assessment for your organization, to meaningfully engage youth in an advisory board for your organization. 

Using Strategic Communications to Build Community Support for Sex Ed (1-2 hours)
90% of MN parents support K-12 sexuality education in schools, urban or rural, conservative or liberal, religious or not. Learn how to spread the word, respectfully, where you live.

Teens

Contact us

For general training inquiries, contact Jill Farris at [email protected] or 612-626-7952. 

For TALK trainings for healthcare professionals, contact Chris Mehus at [email protected].

Our trainers


Jill Farris
Jill Farris

Jill Farris, MPH is the Director of Adolescent Sexual Health Training and Education at the Healthy Youth Development - Prevention Research Center at the University of Minnesota. As Director of the training department, she leads capacity building initiatives to strengthen community-based adolescent sexual health programs, and has significant expertise in the essential skills needed to facilitate sexual health programming. Farris is a certified trainer on nearly two dozen evidence-based interventions to prevent teen pregnancy and HIV/STIs, and is a nationally recognized expert on program fidelity, adaptation and implementation. She leads the creation and dissemination of the annual Adolescent Sexual Health Report, as well as county health reports and data visualization fact sheets that are widely utilized by youth-serving agencies and professionals. Farris is deeply committed to addressing health disparities, and delivers content through a lens of equity, inclusion, and trauma-informed practice.  

[email protected]

Jamie Grilz
Jamie Grilz

Jamie Grilz currently serves as the Deputy Director and Trainer at the University of Minnesota’s Healthy Youth Development Prevention Research Center, where she manages operations and trains sexual health professionals on evidence-based and research informed curricula.  Previous to joining the HYD-PRC, Grilz served for 15 years in the Education and Outreach department at Planned Parenthood North Central States where she became an experienced sexual health educator for youth and parents; and lead the development and implementation of research-informed, innovative, culturally relevant, and adaptive sexual health education programming. She is an equity-minded public health and education professional that is committed to addressing health disparities and ensuring young people have access to sexual health information and services that they need.

[email protected]

Lynn Bretl
Lynn Bretl

Lynn Bretl, MPP, YouthCHAT / Youth Advisory Board Program Manager, has extensive experience supporting youth-serving and other public health professionals in implementing science-based approaches and translating research in best practices in AYAH into actionable practice and policy. Bretl’s expertise includes strategies for implementing Positive Youth Development approaches, the foundations of healthy adolescent development, sexual health education, and clinical services for young people. Bretl also serves as a faculty instructor for the UMN’s LEAH program, and is an Adjunct Instructor in the School of Public Health where she teaches a course on Sexuality Education Programs, Practices and Policies in the U.S. She endeavors to always incorporate what she has learned from working directly with young people, their families and communities, whether as a health educator, clinical case manager, or softball coach. 

[email protected]

Training group