What We Do
Free, confidential, online services for youth
We provide virtual coaching, life skills courses, and other health resources to youth through JovenSalud, our Internet-based platform and app. Our platform turns each youth into an agent of change, empowering them to live a productive and meaningful life guided by their own values.
Adolescence is hard. Without support, young people often turn to risky behaviors, derailing their path to a healthy and productive adulthood. Health risk behaviors are interrelated and primarily established during adolescence, costing individuals, families, and society billions of dollars and immeasurable suffering.
1 in 4 girls under the age of 19 in Nicaragua has already had a child
Only 50% of youth graduate high school in Costa Rica
79% of teen suicides occur in low and medium income countries
2 in 3 people arrested for drug trafficking in El Salvador are under 24
Costa Rica is 2nd in Latin America for issues with bullying
Only 1 in 5 teens in Costa Rica exercises regularly
50% of sexually active teens in Latin America never use protection
Youth in Central America face these and many other risk behaviors,
that we believe can be prevented.
Adolescence is also an opportunity. Teens are establishing lifelong habits, so it is critical to invest in preventing risk behaviors. We aim to not only provide social and economic benefits, but also build a healthy generation founded on personal leadership.
TeenSmart International provides JovenSalud, our youth-friendly online platform and app, which youth can access either through an affiliated school, or individually. Youth navigate the interactive platform and its services, which adapt to their personalized health profile.
OUR THEORY OF CHANGE
We believe that when youth feel competent, motivated and knowledgeable, they will create positive change in their lives. This approach is based on the widely-trusted Health Belief Model theoretical framework and is a proven way for teens to develop personal leadership and life skills based on their own values and beliefs. TeenSmart helps teens build their leadership and prompts them towards health-promoting behavior.
All of our resources integrate our pedagogical model, CRECER para SER, which is rooted in a belief in every teen’s potential. CRECER Para SER promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making through case-based skill development.