This four-minute video, sponsored by the Office of Adolescent Health, shows implementation of Project AIM in rural Allegany and Garrett Counties in Maryland and Mineral County, West Virginia.
Based on the Theory of Possible Selves, Project AIM encourages at-risk youth to imagine positive futures and to discuss how current risk behaviors can be a barrier to successful adult lives. Project AIM is meant to be facilitated in a school or community setting by 2 trained facilitators. The 12-session curriculum has been divided into four parts that is meant to be delivered twice a week over a period of six weeks to small groups of youth. Materials are available in Spanish and English, and it is important to note that Project AIM has been successfully implemented with youth as young as 11 years old. There is an annual licensing fee ($2,000) for the right to implement and/or adapt Project AIM. The program costs $16.75 per youth.
Project AIM has been tested in a randomized behavioral trial of 240 African-American seventh graders using random assignment of health education class students to Project AIM or to the standard health education curriculum. When students receiving the Project AIM curriculum were compared to students receiving the standard curriculum, researchers reported the following outcomes:
- Increased abstinence
- Decreased intention to engage in sex
- Male students significantly more likely to report having abstained from sex over the one-year follow-up period
- Disciplinary suspensions across the 8th grade
- Hire and train adult mentors
- Recruit participants
- Establish and oversee evaluation process
- Utilize role models to reinforce positive view of self and allow youth to experience success
- Reinforce the balance of positive and negative future possible selves
- Create, envision, and set goals of a positive future self
- Identify positive and negative influences in youth’s life
- Identify strengths and resources to achieve positive future self
- Promote skills to achieve effective communication
- Strategize on safeguarding positive futures through risk reduction
- Use small group activities to create and sustain low-risk behavior norms within the group
Program staff from organizations adopting Project AIM attend a 2- or 3-day training available through Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Facilitators must be certified to implement Project AIM. A 2- to 3-day training session costs $1,210 per trainee plus travel and accommodations. An implementation kit, including a facilitator handbook, materials (puzzle pieces, scenario cards, directory of images, posters), and a CD-ROM with more materials costs $600.