Success Stories

What's working in schools. Real results, real impact, real stories.
Investments in Adolescent and School Health Programs Help Youth Become Healthy, Successful Adults

CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) works to protect the nation’s youth from HIV, STDs, and pregnancy through programs, policies, and partnerships. School-based surveillance provides critical data about health risk behaviors and experiences facing youth.

These data help inform effective school-based prevention programs that connect education and public health efforts to strategies that work:

Program Impact

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CDC supports local, state, territorial and tribal nation education and health agencies as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve the health and well-being of our nation’s youth.

Schools districts funded by CDC to implement school-based prevention programs are effective at expanding health education, increasing access to health services, and improving school environments.

  • From 2013 through 2018, 17 school districts funded by CDCpdf icon expanded sexual health education, increased access to sexual health services, and improved school connectedness.
  • The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data collected in these districts showed significant declines in the percentage of students who had ever had sex, were currently sexually active, or had four or more sexual partners in their lifetime.

Making the Grade: Mental Health

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CDC’s national 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data provides an important pre-COVID-19 snapshot of the mental health of U.S. youth. More than 1 in 3 high school students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019—a 40% increase since 2009. Support from schools, families, and communities is key to changing this trend and promoting good mental health among adolescents. Find out how schools were able to provide student support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DASH Program Success Stories

Below you can learn about each of the communities CDC funds and their program successes.

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DASH Program Highlights

CDC School Programs Empower Students for Success

For 30 years, CDC has worked with education and public health agencies to promote and implement school health programs, policies, and practices that protect adolescent health. CDC’s long term investment in partnerships with education agencies has led to better school health policies and programs at the state and local levels.

This story highlights DASH’s policy work over three decades.