Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Majuro Cooperative School Prevention Programs

Majuro Cooperative High School is a new high school that will graduate its first seniors this June. As the founders set goals for Co-op, they made substance abuse prevention and counseling services a priority. There is a high rate of substance abuse in the Marshall Islands, yet there is a shocking lack of programs designed to prevent substance abuse within the youth population. Unlike other Jurisdictions, there are no regularly-scheduled sports leagues, theater programs, marching bands, or any of the other activities normally associated with substance abuse prevention in teenagers.

Majuro Cooperative School’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program provides these alternative or extra-curricular opportunities for youth as well as education, mentoring, and team-building activities focused on resisting substance use. Core program elements include weekend substance-free social events, an expanded health curriculum for all students, peer health educators, community service requirements, team-building retreats for students, extra-curricular after-school activities (with emphasis on reaching at-risk students), parent education, and individual student counseling in the native language of Marshallese.

While the Co-op staff members have worked hard to develop innovative and far-reaching substance use prevention programs for youth, they have not been as intentional about program evaluation. Currently, the Majuro Cooperative School staff monitors: participation in various activities, the number of students who work with a counselor, as well as student academic progress and classroom behavior. In addition, Majuro staff collects anecdotal evidence from parents and students about how their behavior, goals, or general happiness has changed as a result of participation in the program. In addition, the Majuro Cooperative School administers a student questionnaire on school climate.

With funding from SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity for Evidence-based Interventions, the Majuro Cooperative School is proposing to build and populate a database with information they collect on students. In addition to information collected from students on school climate, the database would house attendance, grades, test scores. Majuro is also proposing to hire an evaluator who will work with them to craft evaluation questions and answer these questions using collected data.



Becky Lathrop
Majuro Cooperative School
P.O. Box 81
Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960