Education for Students

We believe that everyone desires connection, respect, and the ability to have and foster healthy relationships. Our RealTalk mission is to inspire, educate, and mobilize students to build healthy lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. RealTalk education focuses on the social and emotional aspects of health. In our classes, students learn what healthy relationships look like—starting with their relationship with themselves.

Our curriculum is interactive and helps students operationalize the concepts introduced in class so that they don’t just learn the information but also how to use it. Through real-life relationship skills and life mapping, students learn how to achieve and maintain optimal health.

Topics we cover:

When you think of the word boundaries, what words come to mind? A lot of people will give answers such as “fences,” “walls,” “limits,” “restrictions,” etc. The typical feeling around this is rather negative, but boundaries can actually be a positive thing. It’s important to set healthy boundaries early. Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt uncomfortable about someone else’s behavior toward you but could not figure out why you were uncomfortable? If you think back on that time, perhaps someone was crossing an unspoken boundary of yours without your consent, and that felt unsafe. Boundaries exist to protect us and let us know what to expect and to stay in control of our situation. RealTalk will help unpack concepts of boundaries around:

  • Alcohol and Drugs
  • Money
  • Technology
  • Relationships

What’s going on? What makes someone popular? What is that famous influencer doing? What shows is everyone watching on Netflix? Where’s the trendy new place to eat/hang out at?

These may be questions that you or your friends ask yourselves! There is nothing wrong with this, but there can be risks if an unconscious drive such as FOMO (fear of missing out), or fear of falling behind drive you to make decisions that are not healthy.

We encourage and teach students to be aware of what is driving their decisions and take an honest look at the hierarchy of importance in their lives. Is what your peers are saying driving you to do things that you may not normally do? Is popular opinion affecting your physical or emotional well-being? Friendship with peers is very important, but each of us can change who we allow to influence our lives.

Everyone wants healthy relationships, whether in their family, friendships, romantic, future employment, etc. The starting point to having healthy, thriving relationships in your life is often taking the time to get to know yourself first. Whether it is your personality type, ways that you connect with those who are safe in your life, or understanding the various facets that lead to a whole person’s health, knowledge is power. It can be very valuable to take the time now to take courses, attend presentations, or do some self-learning to get to know yourself. When we begin to understand ourselves, then we can better connect with those around us in a healthier way. We also provide these types of lessons in our RealTalk Presentation; feel free to connect with us to see if there is a presentation near you!

As students, many activities can lead to risks, and you may place yourself at the frontlines of those risks because there is a belief that the worst-case scenario would never happen. However, the stats and facts show that that is simply not true. We want to see students thriving and living lives full of purpose. Risk-avoidance life skills are important, and the approach is holistic- we consider the whole person’s well-being, not just an isolated aspect of life.

Consent is defined as “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” It is never okay for someone to force you to do something without your consent. As a human being, you deserve basic respect for your boundaries. If someone crosses those boundaries and disrespects you, that can be considered harassment. Make sure you know who to talk to and how to get help about the situation.

With the explosion of the internet, social media, smartphone devices, etc., it is no longer a matter of “if ” but “when” someone will be exposed to pornography. Pornography is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal. It acts like a magnet, drawing viewers in for more and more. It can spark curiosity in pre-teens and teens, both boys and girls, who are naturally curious about sexual things. However, there are researched unhealthy effects of pornography. Did you know that you can get addicted to pornography just like you do with hard drugs? Pornography rewires the brain, changes the viewer’s perspective and reactions to real relationships with real people, and begins to shape the way people view each other in the culture at large. If this is something you are struggling with, just realize that you are not alone; the average person’s exposure is 8 years old. The good news is that the brain is plastic, and it can rewire itself back if the porn use stops. And there are lots of resources to help, such as informative sites like, the Fortify app, and specialized counselors. Maybe today is the day you take the time to evaluate your choices and reach out for help with someone you trust. There is always hope.

For more facts and research, take a look at this website:

  • Adolescents aged 15-24 are at higher risk for contracting STDs, especially teen girls.
  • You can get an STI the first time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
  • Some STIs have no cure, while others can be treated through medication.
  • Most people infected with an STD are unaware they have one unless they are tested.
  • You can get an STD from someone who does not know he/she is infected.
  • You can’t tell who has an STD by looking at them.
  • Some STDs can be transmitted to a baby during pregnancy or birth.
  • For women, untreated STIs, even if they are asymptomatic, can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, infertility, or pregnancy complications.
  • STDs like HIV/AIDS can have lifelong consequences.
  • Look here for more facts about common STDs.

Social media can have some potential negative effects, such as addiction, social isolation, depression/anxiety, poor sleep, etc. However, it can also be a good thing if used in the right way. Sexting and cyberbullying are two examples of how harmful social media can be.

Sexting is the sending of sexually explicit texts, pictures, or videos in a text message or through a social media app. It is something that happens very often among High School students. This is a dangerous trend as it can lead to serious emotional, physical, and legal consequences. Students may sext, thinking that they are safe or getting what they want, but it places them at risk because their private content is no longer in their control once it is out on the internet. Most of the time, sexting is done between couples in a relationship. Unfortunately, only about 2% of school sweethearts marry, so that means 98% of the time, for people who thought they were just sexting with their boyfriend or girlfriend, someone now has sexual images of them that they are no longer with. A momentary decision can lead to a lifetime of consequences.

Cyberbullying is bullying with technology. When someone uses the internet or technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. Examples could be sending mean text messages, sending photos to embarrass someone, spreading rumors, sending or posting harassing comments, etc. Students who would not normally say mean things or harass others in person can sometimes feel safe doing online due to the anonymity and lack of realistic consequences (they don’t see the pain they are causing someone). However, cyberbullying can have dire consequences for both the bully and the victim. Victims can exhibit feelings of depression or anxiety, begin to fail in school, start to develop addictions, etc. Bullies can also face legal consequences if serious situations occur due to cyberbullying. If you see this happening, don’t just be a bystander; be an upstander instead, and do something about it! Tell a trusted adult, tell the bully to stop, or advocate for the victim. Demi Lovato has a great personal story and message about this:

Demi Lovato:

REAL Essentials Curriculum

The Center for Relationship Education: REAL Essentials Curriculum

This is an evidence-based, cutting-edge, and applicable program about building healthy relationships in all areas of our lives.

See why REAL Essentials stands out and offers an exceptional experience, from training to implementation, for both you and your students.

Improves relationship IQ

REAL Essentials equips you to tackle difficult relationship topics with ease confidently. Your voice matters, and people are eager to hear from you how to develop healthy connections and experience real love.

Laugh in an out-loud, fun way!

Participants are energized by hands-on, engaging, learn-by-doing experiences, leaving each with memorable moments they can immediately apply in day-to-day life.

More than sex ed

REAL Essentials compliments any sex ed program. Using the “Whole Person” approach, it nurtures the body, mind, and heart, rather than only focusing on sexual behavior.

No need to be negative

Scare tactics aren’t motivating. REAL Essentials teaches toward the positive rather than away from the negative. Using this method, individuals are motivated to achieve their best, not to feel their worst.

Scientifically proven

The content is aligned with research and supported by ongoing partnership with the University of Denver. Activities are taught to each group with developmentally age-appropriate messaging.

Make it personal

Whether teaching one class period or a full semester, our binder design allows you to organize lessons for different settings and time frames. This structure allows teachers to customize topics and timing so that what works best for you and your students.


  • UNIT ONE: Learning About Yourself and Others
  • UNIT TWO: Navigating Differences
  • UNIT THREE: Effective Communication
  • UNIT FOUR: Friendship, Dating, and Love
  • UNIT FIVE: Cultural Influences
  • UNIT SIX: Planning for Your Future
  • UNIT SEVEN: Committed Love
  • UNIT EIGHT: Leadership and Job Readiness

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