Since 1984, our mission is to help all young people pursue their unlimited potential. STARS has served some of our most disenfranchised populations by providing school-based prevention and intervention services, as well as intensive outpatient treatment services for adolescents with substance use and co-occurring disorders. STARS provides services in six major program areas:
Student Assistance Program: provides school-based prevention, intervention and mental health counseling services to address the social and emotional needs of students who are dealing with such issues as substance abuse, violence, and bullying. Our services have proven and lasting results including: strengthening students’ resistance, refusal, and decision-making skills related to alcohol, drugs, sexual activity, and violence; increasing school attachment; increasing positive orientation to the future; and promoting student involvement in their community.
Enhanced Student Assistance Program: provides behavioral and mental health services for students who have not responded well to Tier I and Tier II interventions. We provide assessment and treatment for individuals with mental health issues who are overwhelmed due to depression, anxiety, loss, trauma, or substance abuse.
Kids on the Block educates children, as well as the broader community, about health and social concerns that affect their lives. Using puppets and other teaching tools, KOB promotes understanding and acceptance of all children and adults, regardless of their differences. KOB 6-week literacy program works with elementary students reading below grade level.
Youth Overcoming Drug Abuse: offers the only intensive outpatient treatment program for adolescents and young adults with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, who do not have insurance and most have had some sort of involvement with the juvenile justice system due to drug use. They are in the early stages of substance abuse or dependence, having the potential to be a chronic, life-long condition.
Services for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: is designed to prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs among Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing are naturally at higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse because of their increased difficulties with learning, communicating, isolation, depression and family connection. One out of ten hearing people may become dependent on drugs and alcohol, whereas one out of seven individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing may become dependent.
Trainings are offered to schools and communities. STARS seeks to train all those who care for our children by helping them understand the non-academic barriers to learning which prohibit young people from reaching their full potential. Training and professional development for entire school systems, school administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, students, and all school support personnel, as well as parents and community-based organizations, address those tough issues which challenge their students on a daily basis.
STARS services have produced consistent outcomes including increased: school attendance and grades, youth attachment to school/community, individual resilience, reduced suspensions, expulsions, bullying, violence, delinquency and alcohol and other drug use (Kanu, Hepler, & Labi, 2015).
To learn more about STARS current plans, please review our latest Strategic Plan, which is updated every three years.