Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition: Peer Educators

The Peer Educators Program is designed to prepare and support "drug-free" youth ages 13 to 20 to conduct trainings on life skills using Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition (MJCPC) resources. A major goal of the Peer Educators Program is to reduce risk factors that lead to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and increase resiliency factors of youth living in high risk environments. A secondary goal of the program is to increase the likelihood that participants will graduate from high school with a good (2.0 or higher) grade point average. The program builds leadership skills in youth related to substance abuse and risk behavior prevention.

MJCPC identified several reasons for initiating a comprehensive program evaluation at this time: to strengthen and improve the program, and, thus its likelihood of being effective; to promote program sustainability by documenting processes and outcomes; to provide evaluation data to key stakeholders (e.g., participants, parents, community, funders, staff, and coalition members), and to generate and share knowledge about the program.

With funding from the SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity for Evidence-based Interventions, MJCPC will enhance evaluation of its Peer Educators Program in the following ways:

  • pilot test all data collection instruments and revise as necessary
  • collect and analyze process and outcome data annually
  • assess the Peer Educator training camp’s impact on short-term outcomes—youth reporting and modeling pro-social life skills and attitudes that discourage substance abuse



Velesha P Williams
Principal Investigator
Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition
JSU Box 17309, Jackson, MS 39217
Phone: (601) 979-1400