Youth Programs and Education

The following are some of the community initiatives that help Rochester youth reach their full potential and that prevent teen pregnancy:

20161031_191643-adjTHRIVE 2 is a federally funded teen pregnancy prevention program, led by the City of Rochester, Department of Recreation and Youth Services.  The program is designed to bring effective teen pregnancy prevention and youth development programs to scale so that most youth in Rochester have the opportunity to participate.  THRIVE staff work in Rochester City School District, City Recreation Centers, charter schools, and community sites to engage youth in life skills and sexuality education programs.  The THRIVE youth leadership team is known as Students Making a Change; the group hosts youth events and helps to design social marketing messages.   Agencies participating in THRIVE include Metro Council for Teen Potential, Center for Youth,  Highland Family Planning and Hillside.  Funding is provided by the Office of Adolescent Health, US Dept. of Health and Human Services. Contact Shaylin Cox, for more information.

City Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (known as “RISE”)  is led by City of Rochester Bureau of Youth Services.  The collaborative delivers evidence-based sexuality curriculum in high schools and community settings. SOAR Youth Leaders serve as peer educators, host youth events, create radio and video PSAs and work with other youth leadership  groups. Member agencies include SPCC, MCTP, and the YWCA.   NYS Dept. of Health provides the funding.  Contact Atashia Walker at

Supports for Youth Success is led by Metro Council for Teen Potential and is designed to complement other local teen pregnancy prevention programs.  Two health educators deliver the Project AIM youth development curriculum to sixth graders and facilitate a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum with high school youth.  A youth-led radio club, called Frequency, meets at Rochester Community TV and creates radio programs that explore topics relevant to youth.  Funding is provided by the William and Sheila Konar Foundation and by the ESL Charitable Foundation.  Contact Jennifer Quick at Sheila Driscoll at

In-Control is a youth development and teen pregnancy prevention program, led by Planned Parenthood of Central and Western NY, with the support of Baden Street Settlement and MCTP, and funded by NYS Dept. of Health as part of the Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program.  In-Control components include evidence-based sexuality education; youth-led music, drama and video production; recreation; peer leadership and parent programs.  Contact: Stacey Richards at

Youth 4 Change is a peer education program that trains youth leaders and supports their efforts to reduce rates of youth HIV,and  STIs.  Youth leaders sponsor events and exhibits, educate their peers, promote HIV/STI testing, advocate for improved youth health policies, including increased condom accessibility, and engage with the faith community.  ABC Action Front Center is the lead agency.  NYS Dept. of Health provides funding.   Contact Mary Terziani at

Youth Voice One Vision, the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, is coordinated by the City of Rochester’s Department of Recreation and Human Services.  YVOV is dedicated to connecting, training, and advising Rochester’s youth leaders, city governance, adult advisors and community stakeholders.  YVOV members provide expertise, and help inform and impact policies related to youth issues.  The program creates opportunities that inspire positive change and unite our community.  Contact Tremain Harris; 585-428-6360.

Health Education in Rochester City School District

Most schools  in NYS, including schools in Rochester, provide a half-credit health class in middle school and a half-credit health class in high school; topics include sexuality/family life.  The Rochester City School District uses the Making a Difference curriculum in middle school and Reducing the Risk curriculum in high school.  RCSD also developed a sexuality curriculum for 4th, 5th and 6th grades, called WISE.  RCSD routinely invites health educators from the programs listed above to present evidence-based and multi-session sexuality curricula to their students.