Alexia Ball is a Peer Advocate for the Ohio Equity Institute (OEI). OEI is a statewide program—run locally by Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH)—to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality. HCPH works with Cradle Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Health Department to implement and support infant mortality initiatives in the 45240 and 45225 zip code areas.
OEI Peer Advocates identify pregnant moms within their community, connect them to resources and services, and provide support as their “champion.”
Family: Alexia lives with her mom, Jessica Ball, three siblings, and four foster brothers.
Job/School: Alexia is a sophomore at Northern Kentucky University majoring in elementary education. She also works at Agape Children’s Center in Forest Park. “After graduation, I plan on taking a gap year with Peace Corp to volunteer around the world and I plan to teach in another country for 2-3 years,” she said.
Community: As a Peer Advocate, Alexia serves Forest Park and parts of Cincinnati.
Interesting Fact: Alexia is a twin! Her twin sister, Alacia, also works at Agape Children’s Center.
Making a Difference with WeTHRIVE! and OEI: Alexia completed OEI training in safe sleep for infants in July 2017 and has conducted three safe sleep training sessions since then. She will continue to share her knowledge with families and caregivers at childcare centers, church nurseries, and more.
With our area’s high infant mortality rate, Alexia thinks it’s important to educate people about the ABCs of safe sleep. That’s why she decided to become a Peer Advocate. “I also felt this opportunity was a great way to put myself out of my comfort zone for something important and make an impact,” she added.
Alexia said she loves meeting people when she conducts safe sleep trainings, and appreciates their feedback to improve as a peer educator. “I also love making activities that are hands-on for the trainings because as an educator I know how important hands-on activities are in learning and I feel it is best to teach that way.” She created a matching game with safe sleep vocabulary and an activity where participants identify what is right or wrong in pictures of sleep scenarios.