Adult Identity Mentoring (Project AIM)

Leslie Clark, Ph.D., Steve Nagy, Ph.D., and Kim Miller, Ph.D.
Program Summary
Project AIM is a group-level youth development intervention designed to reduce sexual risk behaviors among youth ages 11-14 by providing them with the motivation to make safe choices and to address deeper barriers to sexual risk prevention (e.g., hopelessness, poverty, risk opportunities in low-income environments). The program consists of 12 fifty-minute sessions typically delivered in-school or in community based settings twice a week over six weeks.
Intended Population
Project AIM is designed for disadvantaged youth who are 11-14 years old. The program was evaluated and found to be effective with African American middle school students.
Program Setting

Project AIM is designed to be implemented with groups of youth in-school or in a community-based setting. The program's evaluation was set in middle school health education classrooms in Bessemer, Alabama.

Contact and Availability Information
AIM Service Center
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Division of Adolescent Medicine
5000 Sunset Blvd, 7th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Ph: 323-361-3163
AIM Service Center
Children's Hospital
5000 Sunset Blvd., 7th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-361-3126
Sample of Curriculum Available for Review Prior to Purchase
Languages Available
English, Spanish
Monitoring and Evaluation Tools
Monitoring and evaluation tools available
Monitoring and evaluation tool usage required
Information about available monitoring and evaluation tools (if applicable)

Project AIM provides a monitoring and evaluation guide to help providers implement the program with fidelity.

Program Core Components

Last updated in 2023

The data presented on this page reflects responses from the program’s developer or distributor to a program component checklist that asked them to report on the individual components within their TPP program. The same program component checklist was sent to the developer or distributor of every active TPP program with evidence of effectiveness. The program component table provides data on seven types of program components including content, delivery mechanism, dosage, staffing, format, environment, and intended population characteristics; whether the component was present or optional in the program; whether the component is considered to be core to the program; and the lesson number or activity where the component can be found in the program. For more details, refer to the FAQ.

Category Component Core Component Component present Notes Lesson number(s) / activities where present
Content School engagement No
Content Anatomy/physiology No
Content Other No
Content Volunteering/civic engagement No
Content Spirituality No
Content Morals/values No
Content Identity development Yes Yes (both versions) Session 1 manual pages 5, 12-17; Session 4 manual pages 43, 49-51, 54; Session 5 manual pages 57, 62-65; Session 6 manual 75-87; Session 8 manual 99, 104-109; Session 10 manual pages 129, 135-137, 139; Session 11 manual pages 143-148, 151
Content Social support/capital Yes Yes (both versions) Session 4, manual pages 43-54
Content Social influence/actual vs. perceived social norms No
Content Social competence Yes Yes (both versions) Session 9, manual pages 113-127
Content Parenting skills No
Content Normative beliefs No
Content Leadership Yes Yes (both versions) Session 1, manual 5 pages 12 - 14
Content Gender roles No
Content Gender identity No
Content Cultural values No
Content Connections with trusted adults Yes Yes (both versions) Session 1 manual page 14; Session 4, manual pages 43-51; Session 5 manual page 64; Session 7 manual page 95; Session 10 manual page 137;
Content Conflict resolution/social problem solving No
Content Communication skills Yes Yes (both versions) Session 9, manual page 113-127
Content Child development No
Content Boundary setting/refusal skills Yes Yes (both versions) Session 9, manual page 113 - 127
Content Substance use cessation No
Content Substance use - Other drugs No
Content Substance use - Alcohol No
Content Substance use - Abstinence No
Content Brain development and substance use No
Content Vocational/skills training Yes Yes (both versions) Session 6 manual pages 75-78, 84-85
Content Supplemental academic services No
Content Graduating from high school Yes Yes (both versions) Session 5 manual pages 57, 62-64; Session 6 manual pages 77-78, 84-86; Session 7 manual 89-97 Session 8 pages 99-103, 110; Session 11 manual pages 143, 149-150, 152
Content College preparation No
Content Alternative schooling No
Content Self-regulation No
Content Self-esteem Yes Yes (both versions) Session 6 manual pages 75, 79-80, 87
Content Self-efficacy/empowerment Yes Yes (both versions) Session 2 manual pages 19, 25-29; Session 6 manual pages 75, 79-80, 87
Content Resilience No
Content Sexual health No
Content STIs - Treatment No
Content STIs - Screening No
Content STIs - Prevention No
Content STIs - Information No
Content Sexual risk reduction No
Content Sexual risk discontinuation No
Content Sexual risk avoidance No
Content Personal vulnerability No
Content Maternal health No
Content Contraception - Condoms No
Content Contraception - Long-acting reversible contraceptives No
Content Contraception - Other No
Content Contraception - Pills, patches, rings, and shots No
Content Reproduction No
Program Objectives
Project AIM is designed to reduce HIV risk behaviors among youth.  Project AIM encourages at-risk youth to imagine a positive future and discuss how current risk behaviors can be a barrier to a successful adulthood.
Program Content

Project AIM is based on the Theory of Possible Selves, which states that a person’s motivation is determined by a balance of positive and negative ways people see themselves in the future. Individuals who are able to imagine both possible positive and negative futures are more likely to work toward their life goals and achieve future success. This twelve-session program is divided into four parts:

Part 1: Youth are encouraged to explore their personal interests, social surroundings, and what they want to become as an adult. Youth explore the idea of who in their lives may be barriers or supporters towards their successful adulthood. Guest speakers who are young adults on their road to success are invited to present during this part of the program.

Part 2: Youth envision themselves in a future career and connect current behavior directly to possible success as an adult. Hands on activities are included in this part of the program such as developing business cards and resumes, completing a career interest inventory, and participating in job interviews.

Part 3: Youth are engaged in role play and small group activities around communication, planning, and decision-making.

Part 4: Youth have the opportunity to think about their future in terms of milestones to accomplish goals and overcome potential obstacles they may encounter in life. 

The program consists of three main content elements:

  1. Future Thinking
    Engage youth in thinking about a positive possible future self.
  2. Present Action
    Engage youth in present actions to achieve future success.
  3. Safeguarding One’s Future
    Encourage youth to safeguard the future through risk reduction.
Program Methods
Project AIM relies on a combination of methods that focus on youth’s strengths and positive feedback. Activities include role-play, goal-setting, group discussions, discussions with guest speakers, small group activities, and skill-building in communication and decision-making. At program completion, youth compile their work into a professional portfolio.
Program Structure and Timeline
Project AIM is delivered through 12 fifty minute sessions, delivered twice a week over a six week period. Because much of the learning occurs during youth discussions, it is important to have a large enough group to facilitate a discussion but Project AIM was created to be used in classes up to 35 youth.  

The intervention requires two skilled and trained facilitators. Facilitators must have completed formal pre-service training prior to delivering the program. No specific degree or years of experience is required. The most important characteristics needed are their abilities to relate, interact, and connect positively to the youth. The facilitators direct intervention sessions, guiding the participants through the content of Project AIM. They should have a strong connection with the youth experience, be knowledge of adolescent development, and be culturally competent.

In addition to the facilitators, agencies implementing Project AIM will need a part-time project manager/supervisor to oversee and coordinate all planning, monitoring, and evaluation activities associated with the program.

Staff Training

Facilitators are required to attend a 3 day training conducted through the AIM Service center or other approved trainers, prior to implementing the program. It is recommended that the project manager/supervisor also attend the training to familiarize him or herself with the intervention. The training is based on the theory, approach, research findings and core elements underlying Project AIM  and on the content of the Facilitator’s Handbook.. Training participants have the opportunity for hands-on practice of program activities.

After the formal training, participants are expected to practice the intervention activities before implementing with youth.  The practice sessions are intended to give facilitators an opportunity to spend time learning the intervention before implementing with youth. During these sessions, facilitators should practice managing behavior and conflict, and become comfortable delivering the program to youth. Project managers/supervisors and/or other staff members may want to observe the practice sessions, give facilitators feedback, and use the Project AIM fidelity checklist found in the Monitoring and Evaluation Guide to evaluate the practice session.

Program Materials and Resources
A starter kit, including session descriptions, cost information, facilitation materials and implementation tools are available for download at the AIM Service Center website:
The following materials are provided with the Project AIM
intervention package purchased as part of the training:
  • Facilitator Handbook (Curriculum)
  • Implementation Manual and Technical Assistance Guide
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Guide
  • Posters (a total of 5; Sessions 1, 2, 3, 9, & 11)
  • Career Puzzle Pieces (Session 5)
  • Role-Play Scenario cards & Communication Style cards (Session 9)
  • Directory of Images (Session 8)
  • Project AIM CD (Project AIM Stationary, Positive & Negative sheets, Individual Interview Guide, Letter of Recommendation template, Directory of Images, My
    Personal Business Cards template, Certificates of Accomplishments, & Monitoring & Evaluation Guide forms)
Additional Needs for Implementation

Project AIM Licensing Requirements: All agencies who implement Project AIM must sign a license agreement, granting them the right to implement and/or adapt Project AIM under the terms outlined by CHLA. All agencies must sign this contract prior to having facilitators trained and implementing Project AIM. An associated annual license fee for each site must be paid as part of the licensing agreement.

Youth-specific Materials: Most of the materials required to deliver Project AIM are included in the Project AIM package. There are, however, some materials that must be ordered and purchased that are not part of the Project AIM package. These are AIM related items that reinforce the core elements and are integral parts of Project AIM.

There are a total of five items that must be purchased for each individual youth participating in Project AIM.  The first three items can be ordered and purchased from the AIM Service Center. They consist of:

  • Youth workbooks
  • Key Chains (Session 2)
  • Portfolios (Session 12)

The next two items can be ordered from The Career Game website. For more information on how to order the booklets and Web Ticket, go to to purchase:

  • Career Game Explorer booklet (Session 5)
  • Web Ticket (Session 5)

The following office supplies are not included in the package and will need to be acquired before implementing Project AIM. These should be included within your budget:

  • Easels with Newsprint Pads
  • Markers (non-permanent)
  • Pens
  • 4-5 calculators
  • White/Colored Paper
  • Certificate Paper (for Certificate of Accomplishment)
  • Business Card Stock (for youth business cards)
  • Hole Puncher (hole punch self-confidence cards)

Facilitators also need access to a computer and a printer with the ability to access the internet and print materials from a CD disk or downloadable website.

Project AIM is designed to take place either in or near the community of the target population. The program should ideally be conducted in a youth-friendly space, such as venues where youth currently congregate (e.g., recreation centers, after-school programs). The space should be big enough to accommodate 2 facilitators and youth comfortably to allow for group discussion as well as individual and group activities. The most ideal room set-up is a U shape.


The developer has provided several guidelines, monitoring forms, and tools for providers to help them implement Project AIM with fidelity. These may be accessed at: Additional specifications from the developer include:

  • The lessons must be facilitated in the order described in the manual.
  • All program agencies should have an attendance policy/expectation in place. It is recommended that youth attend at least 9 out of the 12 sessions. If a participant misses sessions 5 and 6, he or she must make up those sessions before moving on with the other lessons. This can be done in a one-on-one session with the facilitator.
  • The recommended guideline for the spacing of sessions is that they be held twice a week, with a minimum of 2 days in between sessions to allow enough time for facilitators to complete out of session tasks and for youth to process what they are learning, draw conclusions and invest in their goals.
Technical Assistance and Ongoing Support

The AIM Service Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) provides consultation and technical assistance.

Their services include:

  • Helping providers adapt Project AIM for a variety of settings and to ensure cultural and linguistic appropriateness.
  • Supporting grant development and report generation
  • Helping agencies develop mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating Project AIM
  • Assisting in strategic planning and operation protocols
Allowable Adaptations
The intervention has been tested and proven effective with African-American and Latino high-risk youth. Programs can adapt the target population by serving any high-risk population in the age range of 11-14 years old.
Adaptation Guidelines or Kit
Reviewed Studies
Citation High-Quality Randomized Trial Moderate-Quality Randomized Trial Moderate-Quality Quasi-Experiment Low Study Rating Did Not Meet Eligibility Criteria

Clark, L. F., Miller, K. S., Nagy, S. S., Avery, J., Roth, D. L., Liddon, N., et al. (2005). Adult identity mentoring: Reducing sexual risk for African-American seventh grade students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(4), 337e1-337e10.

Study Characteristics
Citation Setting Majority Age Group Majority Racial/Ethnic Group Gender Sample Size

Clark, L. F., Miller, K. S., Nagy, S. S., Avery, J., Roth, D. L., Liddon, N., et al. (2005). Adult identity mentoring: Reducing sexual risk for African-American seventh grade students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(4), 337e1-337e10.

In school: Middle school 13 or younger African American or Black Youth of any gender


Study Findings
Evidence Indication
Favorable findings
Two or more favorable impacts and no unfavorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Potentially favorable findings
At least one favorable impact and no unfavorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Indeterminate findings
Uniformly null findings
Conflicting findings
At least one favorable and at least one unfavorable impact, regardless of null findings
Potentially unfavorable findings
At least one unfavorable impact and no favorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Unfavorable findings
Two or more unfavorable impacts and no favorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Note: n.a. indicates the study did not examine any outcome measures within that particular outcome domain, or the study examined outcome measures within that domain but the findings did not meet the review evidence standards.
Detailed Findings
Citation Details

Clark, L. F., Miller, K. S., Nagy, S. S., Avery, J., Roth, D. L., Liddon, N., et al. (2005). Adult identity mentoring: Reducing sexual risk for African-American seventh grade students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(4), 337e1-337e10.

The program was evaluated in a cluster randomized controlled trial involving seventh graders in a suburban middle school in the southeastern United States. Out of 20 seventh-grade health education classes offered during the academic year, 11 were randomly selected to receive the AIM intervention and 9 were randomly selected for a control group that followed the standard curriculum. Student surveys were administered one week before the start of the intervention (baseline) and approximately three and 12 months after the intervention ended.

The study found that approximately three months after the intervention ended, adolescents participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to report having had sexual intercourse. At the time of the second follow-up conducted 12 months after the intervention ended, males participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to report having had sexual intercourse. The study found no statistically significant program impacts on sexual intercourse for other study groups at the time of the 12-month survey.

The study also examined program impacts on participants' intentions to have sex. Findings for that outcome were not considered for the review because they fell outside the scope of the review.


Some study entries may include more than one citation because each citation examines a different follow-up period from the same study sample, or because each citation examines a different set of outcome measures on the same study sample. A blank cell indicates the study did not examine any outcome measures within the particular outcome domain or the findings for the outcome measures within that domain did not meet the review evidence standards.

Information on evidence of effectiveness is available only for studies that received a high or moderate rating. Read the description of the review process for more information on how these programs are identified.