Amp Amp
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In 2015, with support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, C4 Innovations partnered with Young People in Recovery and Youth to Youth International to design, develop, and pilot test Project Amp together with communities across the country. Throughout the design, delivery, and research processes, Project Amp centers and values the voices, lived experiences, and skills and strengths of youth and young adults.

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Project Amp was initially developed within a Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) framework —a public health approach that is effective in reducing substance use among adults, and has since been adapted and modified for adolescents.1 Project Amp also draws on several other evidence-based practices including motivational interviewing,2 peer-support services,3,4 and positive youth development5 to deliver an engaging brief intervention experience for adolescents.

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Today, Project Amp is a flexible, extended brief mentoring intervention that is delivered to adolescents by near-age, young adult peers. More traditional substance use screening can be paired with the model as a pathway to entry, or embedded within the sessions. Mentors are skilled in person-centered communication as a means of introducing and exploring substance use prevention education as part of a comprehensive curriculum. Agencies and communities are also able to adapt parts of Project Amp to best meet the needs of local youth. This innovative approach to prevention and early intervention helps by adding much-needed capacity to youth-serving systems.


  1. Babor, T. F., McGree, B. G., Kassebaum, P. A., Grimaldi, P. L., Ahmed, K., & Bray, J. (2007) Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT). Substance Abuse, 28(3), 7-30.
  2. Barnett, E., Sussman, S., Smith, C., Rohrbach, L. A., & Spruijt-Metz, D. (2012). Motivational Interviewing for adolescent substance use: a review of the literature. Addictive behaviors, 37(12), 1325–1334.
  3. Dubois, D. D. & Silverthorn, N. (2005). Natural mentoring relationships and adolescent health: evidence from a national study,” American Journal of Public Health, 95(3), 518-524.
  4. Rhodes, J. E., Grossman, J. B., Resch, N. L. (2000). Agents of change: pathways through which mentoring relationships influence adolescents’ academic adjustment. Child Development, 71(6), 1662-1671.
  5. Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting positive youth development through school-based social and emotional learning interventions: a meta-analysis of follow-up effects. Child Development, 88(4), 1-16.