Pregnancy Prevention: Older Adults Mentor at-Risk Adolescents

Starting in January 1997, the National Council on the Aging, Washington, implemented the first initiative in the country to match older adults with young people in a pregnancy prevention project.

The program was called Generations Involved in Future Trust. The National Council on the Aging implemented the project in Boston, in collaboration with Action for Boston Community Development, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Project Life, an after-school program for adolescents at risk.

Key Results

  • Some 15 older adult volunteers and 11 adolescents participated in a group-centered mentoring program.

  • To instill a sense of personal responsibility, youth and their mentors planned and conducted six community service activities, including:

    • Assisting at a food pantry.
    • Visiting nursing homes.
    • Raising funds for Project Life.
  • A process evaluation, which examined the feasibility of pairing older mentors and adolescents, concluded that training the senior mentors helped dispel their initial concerns about working with adolescents on a sensitive subject.