Building a Future Adds Four New Classes in 2011


January 10, 2011



The Damien Center released its schedule for their Building a Future classes January 3, 2011. This schedule offers four new classes to clients of The Damien Center: Substance Use and Recovery, HIV101/Prevention Education, Peer Support/Special Topics, and Career Development. Classes are open to all clients of The Damien Center.

Since its inception, this series of classes has grown as clients’ needs continue to expand. “We added a nutrition class [last year] because we realized people weren’t eating well,” says Amanda Quillen, Client Services Assistant at The Damien Center. “Eating well is a big part of being and staying healthy.” The Nutrition on a Budget class teaches clients how to purchase and prepare healthy meals with limited resources. Most classes are held quarterly, but some classes, like Peer Support/Special Topics and Career Development, convene monthly.

Building a Future classes are taught by experts in the field. “It’s a good opportunity for people to give back,” says Quillen. In 2011, a nutritionist and a chef will teach the Nutrition on a Budget class.

People in the community are welcome to lend their expertise and teach a class. The classes’ topics are flexible; even if a person’s expertise doesn’t quite fit into one of the current course titles, there is a monthly class with special topics. For example, one special topic class will teach the importance stress management and relief.

Wes Wilson, HIV/STD tester at The Damien Center, will teach the new HIV 101/Prevention Education class. “The big problem is that people don’t understand this disease,” says Wilson. Many people who are newly diagnosed have a lot of questions, and this class is meant to provide a safe environment where these questions can be answered.

“It’s not just for people who are newly diagnosed,” says Wilson. “A lot of people are overwhelmed with information at first, so the questions sometimes come later.”

People who are HIV+ can sometimes feel like they can’t have sex, especially if they’re newly diagnosed – which isn’t true. This class will also stress the importance of safe sex and protection after people become HIV+ and empower them to take control of their sex lives. “Just because you have HIV doesn’t mean you can’t get something else on top of that,” says Wilson. He stresses the importance of testing for STDs every 6 months for people with HIV.

“Our goal is to move people to a place where they don’t need us anymore,” says Quillen. Many clients go to The Damien Center during hard times. The agency helps them during their time of need, but classes like Building a Future also teach skills, like resume writing and budgeting, that help them become self-sufficient.

For a list of classes, descriptions, and times, please visit If you are interested in teaching a class, please contact Terry Michael at [email protected].


The mission of the Damien Center is to lead the fight to prevent the spread of HIV and to empower persons in Central Indiana affected by HIV/AIDS to move forward each day with dignity.

The Damien Center offers vital supportive services to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS so they may live abundant and productive lives. We also provide comprehensive HIV prevention services, including HIV testing, prevention counseling, education, and advocacy.

We believe passionately in the dignity and worth of every person who seeks our services. We strive to be a safe and welcoming place so that no barriers separate people from the services they need to prolong and enhance their lives.

Joseph F. Miller Testing Center Hours

Monday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Tuesday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Wednesday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Thursday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Friday 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Saturday 10am to 2pm (11/13, 12/11, and 1/8 only. Closed all other Saturdays.)