Wendy Arnold, M.P.H. '82

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Ms. Arnold is Founder and President of the Peer Education Program of Los Angeles (PEP/LA), an organization she established to educate and train multi-cultural youth as peer educators in HIV/AIDS prevention. She began developing her peer education approach in the mid-1980s with AIDS Project Los Angeles, and honed her techniques as Director of Education of the Adolescent Treatment and Education Alliance. Ms. Arnold launched PEP/LA in 1990, and today the organization reaches more than 6,000 youth and 500 adults annually in Los Angeles, with 25 programs across the United States, and more than 9,500 teen peer educators and 3,500 trainers throughout 22 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America.

Despite the dramatic growth and far reach of PEP/LA's efforts around the world, Ms. Arnold still takes a hands-on approach to every satellite program that is established. She has focused her efforts to fight the rising incidence of HIV/AIDS around the world, and particularly among adolescents, and to elevate the care, compassion and hope of people who live with HIV/AIDS.

A February trip to Uganda enabled Ms. Arnold to travel three hours into the bush to conduct HIV/AIDS prevention workshops in six communities throughout the country. Additionally, she met with prisoners and held peer education programs so that prisoners could begin to discuss issues around sex and health education and get tested for HIV/AIDS. Her efforts serve as a powerful example of the difference one individual can make in improving the community and world around us.