Young People Achieve and Peer Education Program
Fostering positive youth development
Young People Achieve (YPA) is a three-site school and community collaboration offering comprehensive case management and counseling services to youth who are pregnant and/or parents. YPA supports pregnant/parenting teens in completing their high school education, avoiding a second pregnancy, enhancing their parenting skills, and moving toward economic self-sufficiency.
This youth development program counsels teens to make healthy choices and realize their potential to become competent, responsible, and caring individuals. YPA has had remarkable success. While national statistics indicate that 25% of girls who have a baby before age 21 give birth to a second child within two years and that teen mothers are in the highest risk group for having another unplanned pregnancy, further increasing their risk of chronic poverty and placing them at greater risk for health issues, 100% of YPA youth have not had a second pregnancy before high school graduation. They do not re-enter the risk pool for teen mothers.
Nationally, young women who have children before the age of 21 are at serious risk of dropping out of school and long-term dependence on public assistance. The single strongest preventive measure against long-term poverty (which places people at greater risk for health issues) is education. Of YPA youth, 85% return to school or enroll in a TASC and/or ESL program following the birth of their children. Without YPA, many teen mothers would not complete high school.
The Peer Impact Program is a youth development, pregnancy, and drop-out prevention group. The Peer Education Program offers peer-to-peer culturally competent support and training to predominantly Latino youth to develop leadership, advocacy, and presentation skills and provides opportunities to demonstrate those skills through presentations in multiple schools and community sites.
Both programs engage youth in schoolwide campaigns and health class presentations to encourage healthy choices and pregnancy prevention.
Meet Gina, a YPA participant.
Contact Paula Santa Donato, director of youth services;