Young People Achieve and Peer Education Program
Fostering positive youth development
YPA is a four-site school and community collaboration expanding opportunities to youth who are pregnant and/or parents offering comprehensive case management and counseling services. 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. National statistics indicate that 25% of girls who have a baby before age 21, have 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. But 100% of YPA youth will not have a second pregnancy before high school graduation. They will 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 school drop out 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. 85% of YPA youth will return to school or enroll in a GED and/or ESL program following the birth of their children. Without YPA many teen mothers would not complete high school.
The Peer Education 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 school-wide campaigns and health class presentations to encourage healthy choices and pregnancy prevention.
Meet Gina, a YPA participant.
Contact Paula Santa Donato, LCSW, director of youth services
914-761-0600 x322; [email protected]