Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Laura F. Salazar, PhD

Second Advisor

Sheryl Strasser, PhD


INTRODUCTION: This capstone project is a grant proposal to provide prevention services to adolescents using a comprehensive risk reduction approach modeled after the federal Personal Responsibility Education Program that supports abstinence and also provides medically accurate information regarding the use of birth control and condoms for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

NEED: Teen births result in poorer outcomes for babies and mothers and have a negative impact on our economy. There are disparities in teen birth rates among racial and ethnic population groups, with young Hispanic and black girls having rates that are three to four times higher than young white girls. Sexually transmitted infections can lead to premature death and have negative impacts on sexual health. Adolescents and young adults are disproportionately impacted by HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

PROPOSED PROGRAM: The proposed program consists of four main components, 1) implementation of the Reducing the Risk curriculum for all ninth-grade students in the Health Education course, 2) implementation of the Be Proud! Be Responsible! Be Protective! curriculum with pregnant and parenting teens, 3) presentation of adult preparation topics, and 4) referral to health services inclusive of family planning and STI/HIV testing as needed.

TARGETED POPULATION: The two targeted high schools serve a high proportion of minority and underserved youth in Gwinnett County. All ninth-grade students will be targeted for the main intervention and additional intervention will be provided for pregnant or parenting teens, as well as youth who have any of the following risk factors: sexual minority, students living in foster care, homelessness, and youth living with HIV/AIDS.