Street Smart Master Trainers

Kenny Neal Shults and Imelda Walavalkar are the Centers for Disease Control's Street Smart Master Trainers and have provided training and implementation assistance to youth-serving agencies around the country since 2005. They are the lead designers of Street Smart Training of Facilitators (TOF), Training of Trainers (TOT) and the Street Smart Implementation Manual. In 2009 they worked closely with the CDC over the course of a year to update the intervention and all ancillary materials. 



Street Smart is a highly effective, dynamic group-level cognitive behavioral intervention targeted to at risk youth. Agencies use this skills-building program to help high-risk youth reduce unprotected sex acts and substance use. Utlizing Social Learning Theory, which links feelings, attitudes, and thoughts to behavior change, Street Smart is conducted over a six- to eight-week period with 10-12 youth. The program consists of eight 1 1⁄2- to 2-hour group sessions, one individual session, and one visit to a community-based resource. Each session has specific goals surrounding HIV/AIDS & STD knowledge, pregnancy prevention, coping and negotiation skills, personalized risk assessment, and reducing drug and alcohol use. Group members participate in scripted and non- scripted role plays, activities, and video production in a fun, non-judgmental setting. 

Core Elements

The core elements of the Street Smart program are:
• Enhancing affective and cognitive awareness, expression, and control;
• Teaching HIV/AIDS risk hierarchy and its personal application;
• Identifying personal triggers, using peer support and small group skills-building sessions
• Building participants’ skills in problem solving, personal assertiveness, and HIV/AIDS risk reduction.

Connie and Marc conduct a Street Smart role play on the female condom below:

Research Results

After Street Smart was implemented, it yielded these results:
• Participants reported lower rates of substance use and unprotected sex acts;
• Young women self-reported greater reductions in substance abuse and unprotected sex acts than young men; and
• African-American youth self-reported less substance use than youth of other ethnic groups.

For More Information on Street Smart

To obtain additional information about the technical assistance system and/or to register for a future training, please visit www.effectiveinterventions.orgor call (800) 462-9521, or email