Cicatelli Associates Inc. (CAI) is proposing to build upon our highly successful stakeholder and community-led initiative to promote lifelong personal health and wellness among youth and young adults, HOPE Buffalo, to implement a set of school and community-based programs that have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections for adolescents aged 10-19 residing in 14206, 14211, and 14215. These zip codes have teen pregnancy rates that are between 370% - 656% higher than that of the surrounding Erie county, and these communities have been disproportionately burdened by poverty, violence, low educational attainment, and other social determinants of health (SDH). As such, we have framed our exploration through the lens of SDH – accounting for the conditions in which young people are born, grow, work, live, and age; and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life that impact teen pregnancy and STI rates and serve as barriers to achieving optimal health within our priority zip code areas.
The proposed initiative will focus on pre-adolescents and adolescents aged 10-19 in these zip codes, their parents/caregivers, and providers of care and support to this community to implement the evidence-based interventions Be Proud! Be Responsible!, Reducing the Risk, Families Talking Together, and Seventeen Days. CAI will work alongside committed partners to implement a multi-level approach that is built upon the social ecological model and the tenets of community impact. The initiative will leverage existing school and community structures and capacity to ensure that young people receive evidence-based sexual health education at multiple times, and in multiple settings, over the course of their pre-adolescence and adolescence; and that the education received is age-appropriate, sequential, consistent, and reinforcing.