The Dreamer Girls Project is a race and gender specific evidence-based substance use, HIV, and STI prevention program for Black girls. The Dreamer Girls Project (DGP) program goals are to a) increase positive and protective sexual practices (e.g., delay sex; condom use) and psychosocial skills (HIV knowledge, self-efficacy) among Black adolescent girls and b) to increase knowledge about licit and illicit substances and their relationship with STI and HIV/AIDS.
Story Behind the Dreamer Girls Project
Dr. Opara wants to provide support and empower Black girls to deal with issues that affect them the most. Overall, she wants to make young Black girls feel like they can dream and soar to the highest heights, despite life difficulties.
Our research shows that there are specific protective factors that lower the chances of using substances and can indirectly, improve mental health. There are major differences in substance use and misuse risk by race, gender, and environmental context. Although there are many evidence-based prevention interventions that have the power to support youth, such interventions are often inaccessible to large youth groups and are not culturally or gender-specific enough. This is the importance of prevention interventions that can be tailored to specific diverse groups of youth who may have different risk and protective factors to substance use.
The SASH Lab at Yale examines four protective factors that can be beneficial in prevention programming for Black girls:
Our team is in the process of developing a prevention intervention that can be delivered by Black girls for Black girls! We expect to launch it by Summer 2022. Stay tuned! Follow us on Twitter to be the first to know when we launch!
Youth Advisory Board
Shekinah Glory Peter Mba
Kassidy Nola Scott
Black Girls Go to Yale!
A letter from the Director:
My father always told me, “Whatever you do, be the best at it. Get the highest degrees you possibly can, just as long as you love what you do”. Although my father wasn’t able to witness me achieve what he prophesied, I know I can still honor his memory by passing on the support he gave me. My goal is to give back to Black teen girls, to support their great ideas and encourage them to go to college. I want to equip them with the confidence and tools they need to have a great start in college. I hope this Black Teen Girls Scholarship will only be the beginning of many educational, practical and empowering programs to come for Black girls.
As a New Jersey native, I will be awarding $500 each to two Black girls in NJ who are attending college in Fall 2022 and can come up with a great idea in preventing HIV, drug use among Black girls that we can use for my project, The Dreamer Girls Project. This money comes directly from me as a way to give back to Black girls. Improving the health of Black girls is a goal of mine and I want to support a girl who is passionate but also wants to be a part of the solution for Black girls.