Youth Development Office

The Youth Development Office has a team of dedicated staff that are charged with delivering programs, training and resources to schools, parents and the community in the areas of youth development; tobacco, alcohol and other drug use prevention; pregnant and parenting teen services; social emotional learning; bullying and violence prevention.

What is Youth Development?

Youth development is an approach to working with young people that intentionally helps youth meet developmental needs, builds their capacity and provides relationships and connections needed for their success. The youth development approach is based on over 40 years of research in the youth development, asset development and resiliency fields.

Youth Development Office Programs & Services

Download the Youth Development Office Programs & Services Matrix 

Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE)

The Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program is funded by Proposition 99 and Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax funds. TUPE provides funding for programs in grades six through twelve through a competitive grant process for tobacco-specific student instruction, reinforcement activities, special events, and intervention and cessation programs for students. The purpose of the TUPE program is to reduce youth tobacco use by helping young people make healthful tobacco-related decisions through tobacco-specific, research-validated educational instruction and activities that build knowledge as well as social skills and youth development assets. Collaboration with community-based tobacco control programs is an integral part of program planning.

The following programs and strategies are implemented through the EGUSD TUPE grant which is administered by the Youth Development Office. For more information on the TUPE program please contact the Youth Development Office at (916) 686-7568.

TUPE Media Projects

YDO staff works with 6th -12th grade teachers to design and develop anti-tobacco public service announcement videos and other forms of digital art for use as a tobacco prevention educational tool. Middle school teachers receive on-site training and support from PRO Youth and Families in the development of their PSAs. High school teachers receive on-site support from Uptown Studios. Completed PSAs and digital art are posted online for use as an educational tool within EGUSD school sites.

Project ALERT

  • Project ALERT is a nationally recognized, 7th and 8th grade, substance abuse prevention program that gives students insight, understanding and actual skills for resisting substance abuse.
  • Project ALERT is implemented on every middle school campus in Elk Grove Unified School District.
  • The Tobacco Use Prevention Education program (TUPE) provides all curriculum materials and training for teachers implementing Project ALERT.

Project SUCCESS (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students)

  • Project SUCCESS, is a highly effective, school-based substance abuse prevention and early intervention program. Project SUCCESS works to prevent and reduce adolescent substance use and abuse.
  • Project Implementors are at each Continuation High School to support Project SUCCESS. They conduct classroom lessons on substance abuse prevention, facilitate support groups for students using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, make referrals to community agencies, and implement a variety of other outreach activities on campus to promote substance use prevention and intervention services.

Brief Intervention for Substance Using Adolescents Program

Brief Intervention for Substance Using Adolescents is a research-validated program designed to help young people make healthier choices surrounding tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse. Brief Intervention is a three session, individualized program. Identified students meet one on one with a trained staff person at their school during school hours. Parents are invited to join an optional third session to address substance abuse as a family. During these sessions, YDO staff help students identify the reasons they use, examine the effects of their choices on their lives and learn to make healthier choices.

Brief Intervention is designed for students that:

  • are experiencing mild to moderate problems at school or home associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drug use;
  • may have violated Education Code regarding use or possession of these substances on school property;
  • school staff are concerned about because they have seen telltale signs such as decline in academics, displaced behavior and attendance issues.

How Are Students Referred to Brief Intervention?

Any EGUSD staff, student or parent can refer a student by contacting the Tami Silvera at the Youth Development Office at (916) 686-7568 ext. 67210.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an eight hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Why should I become a Youth Mental Health First Aid responder?

Youth Mental Health First Aid is a valuable resource that can make a difference in the lives of the one in five Americans living with mental illnesses and addictions, including those experiencing suicidal thoughts. This eight hour in-person training teaches people how to support someone who may be developing a mental illness or experiencing a crisis. In 2014, Mental Health First Aid partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide (AFSP) to expand more Mental Health First Aid training capacity through their local chapters.

Individuals trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid can help to:

  • Break down the bias against people living with mental illnesses, addictions and suicidal thinking.
  • Reach out to those who suffer in silence, reluctant to seek help.
  • Let individuals struggling with mental illnesses and addictions know that support is available in their community.
  • Provide community resources.

Make behavioral health care and treatment accessible to thousands in need.
Be the one to make a difference and sign up for a Youth Mental Health First Aid training today:

Helpful Resource Links

Questions? Contact Us:

Megan Sladen Parent
Resource Teacher
(916) 686-7568 ext. 67206

Tami Silvera
Program Specialist
(916) 686-7568 ext. 67210

Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR)

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.  Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

QPR can be learned in our Gatekeeper course in about 90 minutes.  According to the Surgeon General’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (2001), a gatekeeper is someone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide.

As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper, participants will learn to:

  • Recognize the warning signs of suicide.
  • Know how to offer hope.
  • Know how to get help and save a life.

If you have any questions about QPR or would like to schedule a training, please contact:
Megan Sladen Parent
(916) 686-7568 ext. 67206.

Project STARS (Strategies To Advance the Reduction of Stigma)

Project STARS is funded through the Kaiser Permanente Mental Health and Stigma Reduction Initiative. Project STARS provides coordinated mental health and stigma reduction programming to identified Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning students in the EGUSD. Youth Development Office staff coordinate training on issues that LGBTQ students face, support campus GSA/LGBTQ programs, and work with student leaders to develop peer-based outreach on mental health and stigma reduction.


  • Sacramento LGBT Community Center – (916) 442-0185
    • Local organization supporting the health and wellness of the most marginalized, advocating for equality and justice, and working to build a culturally rich LGBTQ community.
  • PFLAG Sacramento – (916) 978-0410
    • National organization with a local chapter that promotes the well-being of LGBTQ youth and their friends and family, through support, education and advocacy.
  • Trevor Project Lifeline – 1-866-488-7386
    • Crisis intervention and suicide prevention line to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and questioning youth and young adults. TrevorLifeline, TrevorChat, and TrevorText available
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
    • The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Questions? Contact Us:

Tami Silvera
Program Specialist
(916) 686-7568 ext. 67210

Substance Abuse Training for Staff, Parent and Students

YDO staff is available to school staff, parents, and students for ongoing training and technical assistance in the area of substance abuse prevention/intervention and youth development. The YDO team maintains a resource library with books, videos and display materials available for check out. If you would like to schedule an educational presentation or learn more about any of the programs and services our team provides please contact the Youth Development Office at (916) 686-7568.

Helpful Resource Links:
 Tobacco Free Kids – Promotes public policy reducing smoking rates of minors.
 National Institute for Drug Abuse  – National Institute for Drug Abuse; Information and resources regarding drug abuse.
 MADD  – Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Resources to reduce drunk driving and help the victims.

Bullying Prevention Program (BPP)

All students have a right to a safe and healthy school environment.  Our schools work hard to promote mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance, and the Youth Development Office supports our schools in this effort.  The Sacramento County Bullying Prevention Project (BPP) provides grant funding to EGUSD through the Youth Development Office of Student Support and Health Services.  That grant supports a number of projects including:

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid training courses that are available to all district employees
  • “A Touch of Understanding” disability awareness  training for many elementary students
  • Staff, parent and student bullying prevention presentations and workshops
  • Second Step program implementation in all Transitional Kindergarten classrooms at 39 elementary schools
  • Second Step and Steps to Respect program implementation K-6 at three elementary schools

All of our efforts aim to help create safe and healthy schools, so students can thrive and reach their greatest potential.

Anti-bullying PSAs created by EGUSD students
 EGUSD – Cyberbullying PSA – Student Perspective

Questions? Contact Us:

Megan Sladen Parent
Resource Teacher
(916) 686-7568 ext. 67206

Tami Silvera
Program Specialist
(916) 686-7568 ext. 67210

LGBTQIA+ Programs and Services

The Youth Development Office provides district-wide support to EGUSD’s LGBTQIA+ students, staff and families. The Youth Development Office staff facilitate awareness building training on LGBTQIA+ issues, provide district-level coordination and support for campus Gender Sexuality Alliance Clubs (GSA) and other site-based LGBTQ programs, and consult with EGUSD school staff on creating LGBTQIA+ inclusive and affirming campuses and classrooms. These services are funded in part through Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefits Program Project STARS (Strategies to Advance the Reduction of Stigma) grant, and through the California Department of Education’s Tobacco Use Prevention Education grant.

Student Success and Opportunity Act (AB1266) and Gender Support Plans

Under the Student Success and Opportunity Act (AB1266) students have the right to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and use facilities consistent with their gender identity, without respect to the gender listed in a pupil’s records. Additionally, it is the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state. (Education Code Section 200.)

Any student or family, regardless of age and grade, can request a Gender Support Plan. Gender Support Plans create shared understandings about the ways in which the student’s authentic gender will be accounted for and supported at school. School staff, caregivers and the student work together to complete the plan. Any student or family who would like to discuss a Gender Support Plan should reach out to their school Principal or a Counselor to request a meeting.

California Department of Education (CDE) – School Success and Opportunity Act (Assembly Bill 1266) Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about Gender Support Plans or any other LGBTQIA+ programs please contact the Youth Development Office at (916) 686-7568 and ask to speak with Tami Silvera, Program Specialist.

EGUSD Board Policy
The Elk Grove Unified School District prohibits discrimination against, nor will it tolerate the intimidation, harassment or bullying of, any student by a student, employee, or any other person from or in the District, on the basis of the student’s actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race, ethnicity, color, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
EGUSD Board Policy – BP 5145.3 – Nondiscrimination/Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying


Questions? Contact Us:
Tami Silvera
Program Specialist
(916) 686-7568 ext. 67210

Youth Development Office
Tami Silvera – Program Specialist
Simret Negash-Lillard – Program Assistant
Megan Sladen-Parent – Resource Teacher
Yvette Jackson – Counselor
Jennifer Brisco – Project Implementor (Rio Cazadero High School)
Ingrid Morales Valdez – Project Implementor (William Daylor High School)
Amy Yen – Project Implementor (Calvine High School)

Phone:  (916) 686-7568
(916) 686-7596

Mailing Address:
Student Support and Health Services
Youth Development Office
Elk Grove Unified School District
9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road
Elk Grove, CA  95624