The history of school based prevention in Geauga County dates back to 1988, when the then ‘Teen Institute’ (T.I.) peer drug prevention program first held an overnight camp for middle school students called Challenges and Decisions. T.I. eventually became Youth Led Prevention (YLP), changing focus from drug prevention to youth-developed initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles and positive school environment. Geauga YLP is now recognized as a leading evidence-based prevention program in Ohio.
In 1996 the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program was developed out of a broad-based community initiative that involved parents, youth serving professionals, school personnel, local human service agencies and faith representatives. The program started with a 7th grade abstinence educational program called Worth it and Waiting, and has grown into a comprehensive positive youth development program serving nearly 4,000 students in 5th through 10th grade each year. Parent programs such as Dear Mom and Dad, peer education components such as Peer Team and Teen Parent Panel, and community involvement on Generational Parent Panel are important parts of our history as a community driven program.
A youth development approach is based in promoting social, intellectual, physical, ethical and emotional health and wellness through all developmental stages. Healthy relationships, interpersonal skills, emotional health/stress management, and critical thinking skills are mainstays of our prevention programs. However, over the last several years the age of technology has made achieving those goals challenging for parents and school alike. With that, the program Digital World was founded in 2016 to increase awareness of technology’s impact on our relationships, interpersonal skills, safety, and future. Programs and resources continue to be developed for parents and student alike.