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The power of teaching

Medical student Jessika Sanz, BS, combined her passion for skin care and teaching.

Jessika’s story

The Good Skin Knowledge project truly enhanced my passion for teaching. I enjoyed educating the younger generation on a topic that I knew very little about when I was their age but learned to appreciate immensely over the years. The wonderful supplies and lessons that the AAD provided allowed me to teach four sessions to three different groups — during the WPS Middle School’s P.E. Wellness Wednesday’s Class, the Girl Scout’s Summer Safety Workshops, and after school at the Boys and Girls Club.

Many of the students showed enthusiasm to learn and interact during each lesson. My favorite sessions to teach were the topics involving acne and sunscreen. I stressed the importance of normalizing acne to prevent bullying at a young age. I taught them to embrace their skin, with every mole, freckle, or even pimples they may have. I discussed the reasons why we need to protect our skin from the sun every single day, not only when we go to the pool or the beach. I hear many older patients in the clinic say, “If only I knew to wear sunscreen when I was younger, this skin cancer would have never happened.”

During my last session with the Girl Scouts, I asked if any of the girls bought sunscreen. A few of them were so excited to raise their hands and tell me how they started wearing it every day after seeing the UV beads bracelet we made together change colors in the sun, just like our cells change when exposed to radiation leading to skin cancer. They asked intelligent questions during this session, such as if the SPF in makeup is enough to protect our skin, if they can get skin cancer by spray tanning, and if we need to wear sunscreen when it is raining or snowing.

These sessions not only taught them vital information on skin health, but hopefully inspired them to love, appreciate, and care for their skin. After each session the students answered all my questions correctly, which showed me how much they were truly enjoying and learning the material. My favorite comments were from this one little girl who would raise her hand just to tell me how much fun she was having making the skin model or the bracelets together. The beauty of education is that I know they will pass this knowledge to their classmates, siblings, and even their parents. Good Skin Knowledge is a creative way to engage young students about a topic that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives.

Support Good Skin Knowledge

The Good Skin Knowledge youth education campaign provides free resources to educators to teach children about acne, skin health, and sun protection. Learn more about how you can get involved.

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