Over the past 20 years, nearly 300 teenagers have written for Answer’s award-winning, teen-written magazine and website, Sex, Etc. We are so proud of the work they have done and continue to do to educate young people about sexual health. Many of Answer’s former teen editorial staff members go on to do great work in reproductive health, public health and journalism. As we continue to celebrate Sex, Etc.’s 20th anniversary, we decided to catch up with some former teen staff members because we have been wondering: Where are they now?
Sam Dercon, Teen Staff Writer, 2010-2012
After reading a few issues of Sex, Etc. supplied by his mother, Sam applied to be on the staff in 2010. Sam Dercon is now a sophomore at Princeton University. I e-mailed him recently about what impact writing for Sex, Etc. had on his life and to learn more about what he has been up to:
Lucinda Holt: How did Sex, Etc. inform the work you do today?
Sam Dercon: I honestly had no experience with sexuality education prior to becoming part of Sex, Etc., so I really had no idea what to expect. But once I started, I instantly became interested in the work we did and how vital this kind of outreach is for teens. Being at Sex, Etc. inspired me to become part of HiTOPS, a teen-led sexuality education program in Princeton, and it’s also responsible for my current plans to spend this summer interning at the UNESCO HIV office in Bangkok, Thailand.
LH: What did you enjoy most about writing for Sex, Etc.?
SD: You really don’t often have the opportunity to write articles about ‘New Technologies in Birth Control for Guys‘ or ‘Slaying Dragons and Gender Stereotypes in Skyrim.’ If you are interested in getting some kind of writing experience, working at Sex, Etc. is probably one of the most unique and impressive ways to accomplish that.”
LH: What are you passionate about?
SD: Personally I am most passionate about the current HIV epidemic. This fascination really stems from my desire to go to medical school and study virology, but it is also important to me because of the amount of misinformation I realized people have surrounding the virus; and it really kills me to see people leading their lives not understanding what it means to practice safer sex.
LH: What inspires you?
SD: Lately I’ve been deeply inspired by Hunter S. Thompson. I’ve made a goal for myself of never turning down a new experience (part of the reason I am going to Thailand), and I feel that Thompson epitomizes this kind of mentality.
LH: What makes you happy?
SD: Cooking for friends makes me extraordinarily happy.
LH: Who would you love to have dinner with?
SD: Stephen Colbert
LH: What would you do with $1 million?
SD: I would love to see Sex, Etc. makes itself known to teens across the country on TV channels like MTV and Comedy Central. It really would do so much good.