Omaha Teen Generation (OTG) is OneWorld’s group of teen peer educators who are affiliated with our Teen and Young Adult Health Center and the Adolescent Health Project. Their goal is to familiarize more teens with OneWorld and Get Checked Omaha so that, when young people need help with medical questions, birth control, STDs and more, visiting clinics won’t be a scary experience.
On Saturday, April 7th, OTG will host a teen-friendly glow-in-the-dark party called “glOTG.” The event is open to all young people ages 14-19, and it will take place at Sokol Auditorium (2234 S. 13th St.) from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Entry is free, and throughout the night, free snacks and giveaways will be provided. Sonido Dinastia Martinez will DJ the event.
“We wanted to give a time and space for area youth to have fun and enjoy the company of one another,” Luis Vazquez, OneWorld’s Sexual Health Outreach Manager, said. “Through our work in the community, we have noticed that area youth do not have a wide variety of places where they can ‘hang out,’ have a safe space and have fun. In addition, having youth at a community event gives us the opportunity to extend our hand as a group and as an organization and offer the different services that we have for young adults: medical services, contraceptive services, etc.”
According to Vazquez, having a glow-in-the-dark party was purely the teen group’s idea.
“They deserve all the credit for bringing their creativity, enthusiasm and dedication to our project,” he said. “The idea came after hours of brainstorming about making the event ‘lit,’ a common word used among adolescents to signify ‘cool,’ ‘entertaining’ and ‘worth the time.’… OTG decided to go with a way in which people could be themselves and be able to shine their uniqueness and greatness—even when dark—and the ‘glow’ theme was born.”
The OTG group is hoping to draw a crowd of 300-400 young people to Sokol Auditorium, so they’ve been busy spreading the word on social media and in person with posters and flyers. OneWorld sexual health educators are also inviting students to the event when they teach classes at local high schools.
Vazquez says putting on an event like this takes a great deal of behind-the-scenes work, but the OTG teens have been there through every step of the process. The group split into separate planning committees beforehand, and they’re all helping to publicize the event now. They will also help decorate and clean up the venue on April 7th.
“Part of our methodology is to involve the group in any decision where their opinion and perspective is important, and that’s basically every aspect of our work,” Vazquez said. “Teamwork and support is essential to all of the work OTG does in the community.”
Vazquez says he and OTG are grateful to Get Checked Omaha for making glOTG possible.
“This event will give us a chance to raise awareness about our goals to make our communities healthier and more empowered,” he said.