Vivian Peters worked for fifteen years as an Outreach Educator for her local Planned Parenthood in a remote, rural area of New York State. Poverty was prevalent in the area, and teen parenting and large families were the norm.
Two unique programs enabled her to build ongoing relationships with people in their homes and schools, providing sexual health education—and so much more—to individual teens and adults in rural poverty. Those experiences underscored what she had suspected before she started: that many pregnancies are unintended, that those pregnancies can totally throw people’s lives off track, that the girls and women who experience them would be open to a caring, helping hand at avoiding them, and that preventing those pregnancies would be a win-win situation for our entire society. Yet those same experiences also underscored that our society is routinely, systematically missing opportunities to effectively reach people. Her book OOPS! Tales From A Sexpert is based on those experiences.
Prior to becoming a sexual health educator, Vivian Peters was a designer/craftsperson working with clay. She and her husband established their own studio in a beautiful, remote area of New York State. They worked as partners, and for twenty years they sold their work to hundreds of galleries and stores in almost every state in the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii, and in the Virgin Islands and Japan.
During that time, she volunteered with several programs that enabled her to build mentoring relationships with young people for years, and to watch them grow up.
Through her volunteer work with youth, she saw the importance of the ongoing presence of a caring adult: one who first talked with a teen girl about setting life goals, then about sex and birth control, and who then helped her access family planning services in a timely fashion and stay on track with her goals. And she saw what happened to a girl who didn’t have that key adult in her life during that critical time; who became a mother before graduating.
Seeing the impact of the presence or absence of effective intervention—the lifelong difference between a girl who graduated without a pregnancy and a girl who became a teen mom—was so striking to her that it motivated her to change careers. That’s when she went to work for her local Planned Parenthood. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Kirkland College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts.
Contact Vivian Peters
*Please note that the author of OOPS! Tales From A Sexpert has used the pen name Vivian Peters for the book and for this website. The reason she is keeping her own name private is to protect the identity of the individuals she wrote about in the book.