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Adolescent Health Initiative


The Adolescent Health Initiative is a targeted prevention program that equips young people at risk for unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, and alcohol and substance use (as it relates to unintended pregnancy and risk of HIV/STD infection), with information and skills to make healthy choices throughout their lives.


The program works with youth ages 12-22 in school-based and community locations, providing evidence-based comprehensive sex education that has been proven effective in reducing the incidence of risky behaviors in at-risk youth and young adults. Participants in the program gain lifelong skills needed to practice alternatives to risky behaviors.


For more information, youth@ACRHealth.org


The Adolescent Health Initiative is supported by the United Way of Central New York, United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica, and United Way of Northern New York.



Services provided


  • Group sessions for comprehensive sexual health education
  • One-on-one risk reduction education
  • Referrals to resources for youth and families
  • Support and guidance for healthy decisions
  • Professional guest speakers
  • Opportunities for community service
  • Peer Leadership Training
  • Community Events
  • School and Community –based Clubs
  • And More!


Youth engaged in our programs have shown increased healthy and positive behaviors, improved grades and attendance at school, and upon completion of participating in our Peer Leadership Trainings, display superior leadership skills and qualities.  Feel free to call for more information or to set up a consultation with staff to better fit your organization’s or personal needs.


Peer Leadership Trainings


Youth 12-22 years of age may train with our staff to become knowledgeable on topics that affect and matter to youth. We work with young people in schools and community based locations helping them gain the skills and confidence that allows them to reach out to their peers and create positive outcomes among them. Topics include: prevention of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs),  pregnancy prevention, healthy relationships, effective communication and negotiation, goal setting and skills to help them achieve in life. Youth receive a stipend to complete the program and provide ongoing support to be effective in reaching others– including hard to reach and at-risk young people.


School Clubs


Area schools can take part in our Teen AIDS Task Force (TATF) Club.  Club trainings and activities are appropriate for both middle and high school students. Interested schools can request to have a trained staff visit their school for ongoing mini-sessions that help students gain knowledge and expertise on issues that matter to youth. We provide comprehensive, correct, and up-to-date information for young people to help them make the tough decisions they will be faced with during these tough years.


Special Events


Youth who participate in school-based clubs like TATF are encouraged to do community service and are given opportunities to attend special events with us!


Our youth regularly participate in the following special events:


  • ACR Health’s AIDS Walk/Runs, Sled for Red, and Bubble Blast Run
  • Suicide Awareness and Prevention campaigns
  • The Selfie Project
  • The Clothesline Project
  • Mock car crashes
  • The Ally Project
  • Utica’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • Various United Way efforts to improve our community
  • AIDS Memorial Quilt Displays