Kids Who Care
Photo: Oakwood Yearbook, 1995-1996
KIDS WHO CARE is a collective of middle and high school students who band together annually around AIDS Walk Los Angeles. KIDS WHO CARE participants recognize that HIV is an intersectional issue: today, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are most at risk for HIV/AIDS and STD infections. Initially founded in 1991 by an Oakwood School student, KIDS WHO CARE has since expanded to include students all across LA County, from both public and private schools.
Students who participate in KIDS WHO CARE raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and the need for LGBTQ+ healthcare, and to that end, also raise funds for APLA Health’s services by forming AIDS Walk teams. Through the program, student leaders receive support to learn about community organizing, HIV/AIDS, public health, and the opportunity to collaborate with each other across schools. In participating in KIDS WHO CARE, students also gain valuable leadership experience, can receive volunteer hours for their participation, and are eligible for free educational resources and APLA Health guest speakers for their clubs and schools.
Though AIDS Walk Los Angeles is a seasonal event, running from June – October, our KIDS WHO CARE program runs all year round. Using APLA Health as the center, students are invited to collaborate with other schools and/or APLA Health staff to create educational opportunities for their schools all year round, such as guest speakers, safe sex talks, Zoom discussions on the history of HIV/AIDS, health disparities, Pride Days, and more. Participation looks different for each KIDS WHO CARE school; students and their faculty advisors are encouraged to build a relationship with APLA Health staff to design something that works best for your school culture. The program is designed to provide educational resources to students throughout the winter and spring, so that students are better prepared to apply their knowledge and leadership in summer and fall through AIDS Walk Los Angeles participation.
AIDS Walk Los Angeles remains a free event to register and participate in, and the educational resources provided to schools by APLA Health staff are also free. While there is no fundraising minimum to participate in our KIDS WHO CARE program, every school is encouraged to set an individual goal of some kind to help support these services, which APLA Health staff will help you achieve. Collectively, our 2022 goal for the program is to raise $100,000, shared across all KIDS WHO CARE schools, students, parents, and faculty in LA County.
KIDS WHO CARE is APLA Health’s sole program designed exclusively for youth. To receive more information or start a KIDS WHO CARE chapter at your school, parent/alumni group, or student club, please email Sarah Murray (she/her/hers) at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form below.
To have your school team, art, or AIDS Walk photos featured on this page, tag us on Instagram at @aidswalkla or email email@example.com.