Project AIM (Adult Identity Mentoring)
Project AIM is a group-level youth development intervention designed to reduce sexual risk behaviors among youth ages 11-14 by providing them with the motivation to make safe choices and to address deeper barriers to sexual risk prevention (e.g., hopelessness, poverty, risk opportunities in low-income environments). The program consists of 12 fifty-minute sessions typically delivered in-school or in community based settings twice a week over six weeks.
Read the full Implementation Report, which includes:
- Program Overview
- Program Components
- Implementation Requirements and Guidance
- Implementation Readiness Assessment
Interview with the Program Developer
See the materials below to hear from the program developer.
Advice from the Field
OAH has compiled lessons learned and advice related to implementation and cost implications of Adult Identity Mentoring (Project AIM) from TPP grantees. The information below is intended to provide useful tips and overall feedback that organizations should consider when choosing and implementing Project AIM.
- Consider modifying the session length. Project AIM consists of two 50-minute sessions for six weeks, which may not fit with school schedules. You might consider covering two lessons if class periods are longer than one hour. You also might consider doing more sessions per week. For example, if health class meets three days a week, you might conduct three sessions per week for two weeks rather than two sessions a week for three weeks. Keep in mind modifying the session length is considered a major adaptation and would require approval from the distributor/developer and OAH.
- Consider minor adaptations to make Project AIM more culturally relevant to the youth served (e.g., hire staff who can relate to participants, adapt materials to be relevant to different cultural values).
- Print computer lessons for students who do not have internet access at home.
- Consider adding activities or lessons related to puberty, anatomy, and contraceptive options especially if many of the youth lack this knowledge. Project AIM does not include sexual education information in the curriculum. Adding information about puberty, anatomy, and contraceptive options will need to be approved by OAH and go through a medical accuracy review.
Staffing and Professional Development
- Carefully consider your staffing needs. Project AIM is delivered over a relatively short period of time, so it can be difficult to provide part-time staff with enough hours, which can contribute to high turnover.
- Consider hiring staff who are familiar with the target population and the community. These individuals may be better able to relate to participant’s experiences, which can help with developing rapport more readily with program participants.
- Consider providing ongoing professional development and additional training opportunities on adolescent brain development, cultural competency, trauma-informed approaches, and working with LGBTQ populations. These topics may not be adequately covered in Project AIM’s training materials.
Stakeholder and Parent Buy-in
- Consider providing a presentation on Project AIM to generate interest and buy-in of key stakeholders, school officials, administrators, and faculty. This presentation can help reduce resistance that may arise from faculty who are reluctant to try a new program.
- Emphasize that Project AIM covers a variety of skills and topics, and highlight how these are in accordance with state health standards and policies. Because Project AIM does not explicitly talk about sexual behavior, schools might not consider it as meeting their health standards. Pointing out which standards the program does meet can help with getting buy-in from the schools.
- Allocate resources for the annual licensing fee to implement Project AIM.
Read the list of potential adaptations that were previously implemented by OAH grantees for Project AIM.