Life Skills & Leadership

Aurora Youth Options PACT Program

Prevention Awareness through Core Training Program

Aurora Youth Options (AYO) offers the PACT Program to provide middle and high school aged youth substance abuse prevention/intervention programming that targets the causes of adolescent substance use utilizing the Botvin Lifeskills Training Program. PACT will provide health, safety and legal information about adolescent substance use.

The Botvin LifeSkills Training Program ( is an integrated approach that helps ;develop personal, interpersonal, and drug resistance skills.; Youth develop age appropriate strategies for making healthy decisions, and managing stress. The program is based on more than 30 years of peer reviewed scientific research. Botvin LifeSkills Training now holds the distinction of being the top research-based substance abuse prevention program in the country, recognized as a blueprint prevention program among other distinctions.  The curriculum is designed to strengthen student abilities in the following areas:

  • Drug Resistance Skills
    Youth will understand the consequences of substance use, risk-taking, and the influences of media and marketing.
  • Social Skills
    Youth will gain skills to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating   clearly and building healthy relationships.
  • Personal Self-Management Skills
    Youth will develop and practice skills that help them enhance self-esteem, develop problem-solving abilities, reduce stress and manage emotions.

PACT Q & A’s


How can a youth get involved?

PACT will be offered in participating schools to 6th and 9th graders. 

What additional supports will a youth enrolled in PACT receive?

When a youth participates in the PACT Program they are enrolled in AYO and have access to all AYO services. AYO will offer referrals to supportive resources as needed. Should students be identified as in need of a substance abuse assessment, they will be referred to appropriate clinical school staff or Aurora Mental Health Center staff.

Who delivers PACT to students?

The PACT curriculum will be presented by an AYO PACT Program Facilitator who is trained in the Botvin Lifeskills Training Program.

How long is the PACT Program?

PACT is a 10 session program. It can be offered within a 2-5 week period.


AYO Leadership Development


Overall Scope


Aurora Youth Option’s leadership development program encourages students to learn to identify and acknowledge their ability to demonstrate leadership in all areas of their life. By fostering an environment of learning and new opportunities, youth are able to reach different “Leadership Landmarks” by exhibiting characteristics of specific leadership traits. 


What's in it for the youth?

Students may complete a leadership profile that identify strengths and growth points in their capacity for leadership. They will then identify short and long term goals related to leadership, and elaborate on a strategy to reach those goals. Each student who decides they would like to develop their leadership skills will personally commit to (1) gain volunteer experience, (2) decide on and pursue a personal leadership project and (3) develop a future education and/or career plan. Students will gain tangible, real skills they can put on their resume, college applications, or apply toward school extracurricular and volunteer requirements.

We believe that when students are recognized for their capacity for leadership, it will positively reinforce those behaviors and can be applied to community advocacy practices that they are passionate about. If you would like to complete the Leadership Landmarks Profile, please click the hyperlink and have the youth complete.