New website launches to support communities in preventing youth substance use

‘When youth PROSPER, we all do.’

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A new website, located at, will aid in recruiting Pennsylvania communities and families to participate in PROSPER, or PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience, a program proven to reduce substance use throughout entire communities by working with middle school students and their parents.

PROSPER’s in-school component provides students with a healthy self-image to plan goals, problem solve, and resist substance use and other risky behaviors. The after-school component brings together students and their parents for a family dinner, with a two-hour program following. During the first hour, parents and their children learn in separate classrooms about topics such as communication, discipline and respecting each other’s point of view. In the second hour, parents and children work as a family to complete activities, play games and problem solve.

“When youth prosper, we all do,” said Janet Welsh, PROSPER director and research professor at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center.

PROSPER works with schools and community leaders to offer in-school and after-school programs for middle school students and their families, building stronger families and helping to prevent risky behaviors such as substance use and underage drinking. For more information about PROSPER in Pennsylvania, please visit 

The website highlights the project’s 18 current locations throughout Pennsylvania to provide prospective families with program and contact information and an overview of how communities and families can benefit from the program. Community leaders interested in starting a local PROSPER site can get started by filling out this form.

"The website provides a platform for us to broadly disseminate information about effective prevention programming and practices across Pennsylvania. This is especially timely given the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made schools, families and communities especially dependent on online resources," said Welsh.

PROSPER is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Last Updated December 01, 2020