Empower Orange: Empowering Adolescents to Engage in Healthy Sexual Behaviors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Promoting Adolescent Health through School-Based HIV Prevention
Submitted by the School Board of Orange County, Florida
Empower Orange will enable the School Board of Orange County, Florida (also known as Orange County Public Schools [OCPS]) to deliver enhanced and effective skills-based sexual health education (SHE); provide adolescent access to on-site and off-site sexual health services (SHS); and implement best classroom management practices and promote positive youth development activities through safe and supportive environments (SSE). OCPS leadership is 100 percent committed to this project and has approved $124,450 in an in-kind match. OCPS grant leadership and staff will monitor access to and implementation of training, resources and technical assistance for students, teachers, staff and partners to ascertain the promotion of school-based HIV and STD prevention. Technical assistance provided by partner organizations related to SHE, SHS, and SSE will be implemented at 17 priority schools to include the middle and high school levels. OCPS staff is well prepared to implement these SHS and SSE activities to better meet the needs of LGBT youth in our community who are more likely to experience a diminished safe and supportive environment. This grant will impact over 31,000 students directly through implementation of numerous program activities related to SHE, SHS and SSE. With a strong commitment to positively impact over 100,000 secondary students, this effect will be diffused across all 90 secondary schools in the school district.
The Five-Year Project Period Goals and Outcomes:
Goal 1: By July 31, 2023, provide visionary leadership to implement program-planning initiatives for OCPS youth in grades 6-12 to decrease sexual risk behavior associated with HIV prevention.
Goal 2: By July 31, 2023, increase the number of OCPS secondary schools implementing programs and policies to provide safe and supportive environments for students to reduce HIV and other STD infections among adolescents.
Project outcomes will include:
• Delayed onset of sexual activity
• Decreased sex without a condom
• Increased use of contraceptives
• Decreased risk behaviors that place youth at higher risk of adverse health outcomes, including substance use, violence, and mental illness
• Reduced HIV infection and other STDs
• Decreased teen pregnancy raters
• Increased student academic success
The positive outcomes of this initiative are closely aligned with our district’s vision to be the top producer of successful students in the nation.