Since 1995, Prevention Works has been the community’s foremost nonprofit in prevention and health education services. We serve thousands of local youth and families, many of whom come from marginalized communities, economically challenged backgrounds, and/or are struggling to maintain the unification of their family. To make the greatest impact, Prevention Works uses a multistrategy approach with a mission of giving people tools to make healthy decisions. Prevention Works partners with more than 100 local organizations. Our programs are effective, evidence-based, and demonstrate positive outcomes for our community — in particular, demonstrating long term, positive impact on youth development.
Just one of the many programs that show positive outcomes for youth development is Peer POWER, which was developed with the help of outside evaluators. Peer POWER is an afterschool program geared toward youth ages 9 – 13 and designed to increase the likelihood that youth make healthy, positive decisions and resist peer pressure. There are 12 sessions of learning in two different curriculum topics: Substance Abuse Prevention and Violence Prevention. Peer POWER is based on the Health Belief Model, uses a Peer Education approach to program delivery, and is facilitated by high-school-age Peer Educators. Oversight is provided by one adult Outreach Worker at each session. All staff are highly trained in the program curricula, facilitation skills, professionalism, positive behavioral support, cultural sensitivity, trauma-informed practice, and social-emotional learning and development. The program mutually serves the high-school-age Peer Educators by increasing individual social and emotional development and positively impacting school and work readiness.
Peer Educators and Outreach Workers are recruited from the target population and represent marginalized communities. The youth participants have the opportunity to experience a diverse team of educators who serve as positive role models and mentors. Peer Educators not only deliver accurate educational information, but also work to enhance a sense of community and collaboration within the target neighborhoods and among the participants.
For more information, visit www.prevention-works.org.