PVPSA’s mission is to improve the quality of life of the students and families of the Pajaro Valley by providing health education, counseling and prevention services, and by advocating for public policies that protect the health of our community.
Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance (PVPSA) is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing education, training, and counseling and prevention services to students, families, and staff of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD). By helping prevent criminal behavior, gang involvement, truancy and school dropout, and drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, PVPSA promotes student success and enhances the quality of life in our community. PVPSA created the dedicated nonprofit agency model, in reference to the unique and special relationship it has with the local school district.
PVPSA has over 25 years of experience in providing comprehensive health education, tobacco use prevention, and intervention services to the Pajaro Valley community, including the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD), the largest school district in Santa Cruz County which also encompasses North Monterey County. In addition to its longstanding involvement the school district, PVPSA has cultivated partnerships with other city, counties (Santa Cruz and Monterey), and state organizations, both private and public, to collaborate on community issues such as alcohol and drug use, gang prevention, health, education, especially reducing expulsions, public advocacy, and safety. The agency also provides mental health counseling in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District schools and at our Watsonville Counseling Center.
From its inception, PVPSA has maintained a leadership role in prevention and intervention. With commitment to addressing the social determinants of health, the agency utilizes an upstream public health approach to achieving community health and wellness. This includes health related public policy advocacy efforts. The agency’s first major accomplishment was developing and implementing policy that prohibited tobacco use and tobacco products on PVUSD school campuses. Currently, PVPSA public policy efforts include directing multiple community projects and activities that address tobacco and alcohol related inequalities. PVPSA staff plays a key role in promoting prevention services and intervention activities for local youth and families in our schools and in throughout the community.