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Massachusetts Initiative to Prevent Youth Violence

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $997,672)

That Massachusetts Initiative to Prevent Youth Violence (Initiative) is a strategic partnership between the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (MAGO) and Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) which prioritizes the mental health and well-being of young people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With a rising number of students experiencing mental health challenges and an increase of weapons found on school grounds in Massachusetts, the Initiative provides both student and educator trainings that improve school climates for young people and reduce the incidence of school violence.

Under the Initiative, the MAGO will build relationships with up to 75 new middle and high schools committed to increasing positive health outcomes for their students. SHP, as subgrantee, will implement its Know The Signs (KTS) violence prevention programs to students. As part of KTS, students will receive Start With Hello, a training that teaches them how to minimize social isolation, empathize with others, and create a more inclusive and connected school culture. Students will also participate in Say Something which will train them to look for warning signs and threats – especially on social media – of someone at risk of hurting themselves or others, and how to tell a trusted adult to get help.

Sustainability of programming is critical to the Initiative’s long-term success. SHP will implement KTS workshops for educators so that they can effectively incorporate SHP’s student programming into future curricula. Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Clubs will also be established as youth-leadership groups that will participate in year-round activities consistent with the Initiative’s programming. The SAVE Promise Clubs will receive year-round coaching and serve as a key component to the sustainability of programming.

The MAGO and SHP’s history of success in school violence prevention programming will ensure effective school outreach and program implementation. BJA grant funding is critical to appropriately resource the Initiative and will allow impactful school violence prevention and mental health programming to be delivered throughout a statewide service area.

Date Created: September 28, 2023