Our History

Founded in 1984, STARS has transformed from a program of the Center for Youth Issues with one school site to an award-winning, evidence-based leader for its program and services in nine counties and more than 160 school and community sites in Middle Tennessee.

In 2006, STARS expanded to grades K-12 when Kids on the Block, the nationally known puppet program, successfully merged with STARS. That same year, the Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee’s Youth, Alive and Free program also merged with STARS.

In 2008, STARS formalized a strategic partnership with Hazelden Publishing, the leading publisher of evidence-based programs and curricula for youth substance-use prevention and violence prevention. This partnership makes STARS Tennessee’s go-to resource for Hazelden’s best-selling and award-winning prevention programs.

In 2009, STARS and the Oasis Center opened the Youth Opportunity Center, which houses eight nonprofit organizations that work together to assist youth.

In 2011, STARS adopted three programs of the former Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee: Youth Overcoming Drug Abuse (YODA), Recovery Support Services, and the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program, which targets a population that is statistically more likely to have alcohol- and substance-abuse issues.