This is Derek Miller Speaking on Business. The Policy Project is a nonprofit organization that promotes and advocates for solution-based policy to remove barriers to education and the workforce. Director of Policy and Government Affairs Mary Catherine Perry shares more on the launch of their new initiative — the Teen Center Project

Mary Catherine Perry:

The number of Utah students experiencing mental health struggles, unstable housing, and other physiological needs is increasing.

Over the past year, we have been working on the Teen Center Project, a public-private partnership between the Utah Legislature and private donors to create a space within Utah high schools that provides students support such as laundry facilities, showers, a food pantry, and a trusted adult who can connect students and families with outside resources for more sustained and comprehensive care.

Through The Policy Project advocacy and support of Utah community members, we secured a $15 million dollar appropriation from the Utah Legislature, as well as additional funds from several private donors. This will allow over 60 Utah high schools to access a grant to build a teen center in their schools.

Several Utah school districts have piloted the concept, and have seen incredible results, including high service utilization, positive academic and social outcomes, and increased graduation rates for their most vulnerable and at-risk students.

Derek Miller:

Join the movement and visit for more information. To learn how you can get involved, visit the Policy Project website. I’m Derek Miller with the Salt Lake Chamber, Speaking on Business.