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A multi-state organization, N.O.V.A. Principles Foundation, headquartered in Utah, has an impact on risky behaviors, choices, made by community youth. Data from the United States Census Bureau (2018) reveals the following economic and demographic characteristics of the state. Arizona, Utah, and Idaho is home to 12,086,959 individuals, 85% white. The majority, over 85% live in urban areas of the state. 1,295,488 youth ages 11 to 17 comprise 10.7% of the population. The median household income is $56,607, 9% lower than the US median, $62,175 (June 2018). According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count (2017), 16% of these youth live in poverty. 7% of Idaho’s youth live in extreme poverty. Of these youths, 26% are raised by a Single Parent, and 15% live in homes receiving public assistance. There are 59% youth participating in free and reduced lunch programs.
Specific Needs the Program Addresses
The N.O.V.A. Principles Program serves youth grades 5-11 and parents or families. As table 1 demonstrates, youth have a significant exposure to a variety of life-altering choices. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2001) indicates, “Some adolescents choose to engage in risky behaviors. For some, the experience will be one of experimentation, a passing phase. For others, it will be the beginning down a path to problems that follow them into adulthood.” There are few studies to show the exact correlation. The only result that is known is that there is a correlation between “risky behaviors as an adolescent and negative consequences later on.”
The Anne E Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Center
2015-2016 Teens aged 12-17
Risky Behaviors/Choices Participants
Abused alcohol or drugs in the past year. 53,000 – 5%
Illicit drug use, other than Marijuana. 30,000 – 3%
Binge drinking. 54,000 – 5%
Cigarette use in the past month. 31,000 – 3%
Marijuana use. 58,000 – 6%
Juvenile Arrests 49,331
(9.5% Youth (Charged as Adult))
Sampling: Murder, Manslaughter, Rape, Assault, Robbery 2,935
Center for Disease Control
Teen Suicide (2011 – 2015) 623
(19.4 % of all suicides)
Sexting Behavior Among Youth 11-18 1 in 4