Youth First: Holyoke & Springfield

The Alliance is one of only 9 organizations across the country awarded a $1.1 million grant to support its Youth First initiative in Springfield and Holyoke. The grant is an initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test the effectiveness of community-wide approaches to reducing teen pregnancy. The goal of Youth First is to reduce teen births by 10% over 5 years in Holyoke and Springfield.

September 18, 2014

The Youth First project has had some exciting results lately. Check out this Youth First overview presentation for some of our findings!

March 5, 2014

Want to know what we’ve accomplished in the past 3 years on the Youth First project? Take a look at our Youth First fact sheet .

January 9, 2014

We recently released the findings from the community-wide needs and resources assessment that was conducted in Holyoke and Springfield as part of the Youth First project.

November 21, 2013

Recently we’ve been conducting presentations on Youth First at various conferences. See what we are learning from the initiative by downloading these posters (all in PDF):

June 24, 2013

Want to know a little more about our project and what we’ve accomplished so far? Check out this brand-new report on Youth First in English or in Spanish.  

Update: April 17, 2013

Congratulations Springfield and Holyoke - teen birth rates went DOWN in both cities!

Read Dr. Sarah Perez McAdoo’s statement on the YEAH! Network blog and download our updated Holyoke teen birth fact sheet and our updated Springfield teen birth fact sheet.

About Youth First

The Alliance is one of only 9 organizations across the country awarded a $1.1 million grant to support its Youth First initiative in Springfield and Holyoke. The grant is an initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test the effectiveness of community-wide approaches to reducing teen pregnancy. The goal of Youth First is to reduce teen births by 10% over 5 years in Holyoke and Springfield.

Our community’s vision is that all young people in Springfield and Holyoke have:

  • Access to quality health education and healthcare that supports their ability to make informed decisions about relationships, sexual health, and their lives;
  • Consistent community messaging that empowers them to have a hopeful perception of their futures; and
  • Support in being community leaders, role models, and advocates.

In collaboration with the Hampden County-based YEAH (Youth Empowerment Adolescent Health) Network and many community partners, the Alliance will spearhead a community-wide effort to:

  • Increase youth access to quality sexual health information and evidence-based programs
  • Increase youth access to sexual health clinical services
  • Increase community awareness of teen pregnancy issues
  • Promote sustainability of teen pregnancy prevention in the community

We are working to bring together all sectors of the community in this effort. Parents of adolescents, teachers, faith leaders, youth, business owners, school administrators, social workers, community-based organizations, clinical providers, employers, pediatricians all have a role to play.

For more information, check out our success story, “Building the Plane While Flying It: Impacting Teen Pregnancy in the Short and Long Term” or contact Erica A. Fletcher, Prevention Director.

Contact Information

Check out the YEAH Network Blog and the Youth First Facebook page for the most up-to-date information and news on the project.

To make sure you’re getting our emails about Youth First, sign up for email updates on the YEAH Network website.

This website was made possible by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U58DP002927 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Adolescent Health.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or HHS.