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Press Release  Department of Public Health awards $480,000 for successful teens initiative

Six community-based organizations will receive funding to promote healthy youth development and evidence-based interventions
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  • Department of Public Health

Media Contact   for Department of Public Health awards $480,000 for successful teens initiative

Omar Cabrera, Manager of Ethnic Media and Community Outreach

Boston — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced $480,000 in grant funding to six community-based organizations for the Successful Teens: Relationship, Identity, and Values Education (STRIVE) Program. STRIVE is a DPH initiative that teaches youth aged 10-15 personal responsibility, leadership skills, and healthy decision-making, while preventing future youth risk behaviors.

The program aims to reach kids early in adolescence to promote healthy choices and maximize life opportunities, instilling the skills needed to thrive in high school and beyond. STRIVE grantees are expected to focus on one of three priority populations: youth who identify as Black or Hispanic; LGBTQ+ youth, or youth with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

“It’s always been tough to be a teen. But never tougher than it is now,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh. “Young people these days are facing countless challenges – gun violence, an overdose crisis, climate change, an education interrupted by a pandemic – and a lot of kids just aren’t equipped to handle it all. By investing in the STRIVE program, we’re giving our younger residents the skills they need to thrive.”

“The youth of Massachusetts embody so much promise. With some well-placed support, a bit of a boost, and the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities, they can thrive and shine,” said Public Health Commissioner Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD. “The investments we make in youth today are not just investments in the future of our communities and our state. They are investments in a more just and inclusive society.”

The STRIVE grant recipients are the Boys and Girls Club of South Boston, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Girls Inc of Lynn, Girls Inc of the Valley, Lowell Community Health Center, and The Edinburg Center. Each of the six organizations will receive $80,000 to:

  • Increase youth connections to caring and trusted adults in their communities.
  • Increase protective factors for youth, such as school and community engagement.
  • Increase internal and external developmental assets, such as caring and honesty, positive peer influence, and community support.
  • Decrease risky youth behavior in later teenage years.
  • Increase educational and economic opportunities through greater connection to community resources, increase school connectedness, and positive internal and external developmental assets.

STRIVE focuses on upstream interventions for children aged 10-15, ensuring they have the skills and resources to avoid sexual risk later in life. Children in the program learn self-regulation and how to make healthy lifestyle choices, while also receiving behavioral health support and developing strong relationships with key support systems.

Grantees were chosen based on the quality and comprehensiveness of their proposed programming, as well as their previous work supporting youth in the identified priority populations. Funding will begin on July 1, 2025.


Media Contact   for Department of Public Health awards $480,000 for successful teens initiative

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