Milestones in HiTops History

2015

100 participants, ages 11-26, attended the first ever Trans Youth Forum—a day of programs and events designed for transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, non-binary and gender-questioning young people. 11,780 Youth and Adults (parents and youth-serving professionals) benefitted from programs.

2014

HiTops adds two new support groups: Trans Youth Group and T-NET, for parents of trans youth. After 26 years, HiTops closes its Health Center. 10,992 Youth and Adults (parents and youth-serving professionals) benefitted from programs.

2013

25th Anniversary Celebration and 10th Annual GSA Forum

2012

One thousand runners and 275 volunteers sign-up for the inaugural Princeton Half Marathon—HiTops’ new event to raise awareness about the unique health needs of adolescents.

2011

HiTops pilots a satellite health clinic at Mercer County Community College in Trenton to access high risk college age youth. Princeton Health Department contracts HiTops to administer H1N1 vaccine for hundreds of children in Princeton.

2010

Teen PEP is awarded a 5-year, $4.8m federal grant from the S. Department of Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health to replicate and evaluate its effectiveness in schools in rural North Carolina and urban New Jersey. A 3-year strategic plan outlines path of change to increase impact with youth and ensure financial stability.

2009

HiTops is “Featured Model Teen Program” of National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health. The Journal of Adolescent Health features HiTops’ iQuit! smoking cessation program for 18-24 year olds. Horizon Foundation supports HiTops’ new tool for screening and early detection of mental health issues.

2008

HiTops receives a $500,000 legacy gift from Seward Johnson Sr. 1963 Charitable Trust and re-names the health center, the J. Seward Johnson Sr. Center for Adolescent Health. Appreciating Differences, a new program on gender identity for 8th graders, is presented at John Witherspoon Middle School. Elizabeth Casparian is named HiTops new Executive Director.

2007

20th Anniversary Celebration

2006

Founder and Director Bonnie Parker retires; Lori Heninger becomes Executive Director.

2005

HiTops takes on a $2m endowment campaign to support growth in services and ensure HiTops’ future.

2004

In collaboration with GLSEN Central NJ, HiTops co-sponsors the first annual GSA Forum, a 1-day conference for LGBTQ youth and their school-based advisors.

2002

HiTops expands Teen Council programming to include parents and incarcerated youth.

2001

Clinical services for males are offered, including physicals, STD testing and treatment, testicular cancer screening, and general sexual and reproductive health counseling. The Trenton Peers, a hybrid Teen Council program, begins at Mill Hill in Trenton.

2000

SASS (Sexual Assault Survivor Support) group has first meeting.

1999

The collaborative team of HiTops, NJDOH and CSS gives birth to Teen PEP (Prevention Education Program), the innovative statewide peer leadership training and education program. HiTops is contracted by the state of New Jersey as a site for free confidential HIV testing and counseling exclusively for youth.

1998

Teen Council’s first Homophobia Reduction presentation at Ryan While National Youth Conference on HIV/AIDS with first-time funding from Princeton Area Community Foundation. HiTops purchases property at 21 Wiggins Street. HiTops facilitates new chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays).

1997

HiTops becomes an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. First & Third is launched as a support group for LGBT youth with funding from New Jersey AIDS Partnership.

1996

HiTops participated in community-wide collaboration with Princeton Regional Schools District to re-write district sexual harassment policies and procedures. HiTops educated all teachers on the new policies, and Teen Council presented Sexual Harassment Prevention, for all Princeton High School students.

1995

HiTops joins forces with New Jersey Department of Health and Princeton Center for Leadership Training (now Center for Supportive Schools (CSS)) to reduce HIV/AIDS amongst youth through peer to peer education. With first-time funding from NJDOH, HiTops adapts the Teen Council model to train high school seniors in schools across the state in comprehensive sexual health education.

1992

The World Health Organization ranks HiTops’ model of youth-focused education and clinical services in the top 72 out of 500 programs worldwide “successful and replicable for the prevention of STD/HIV and pregnancy.”

1989

HiTops’ Teen Council, a peer education and leadership program, is formed as an effective way to deliver comprehensive sexual health education to middle and high schools. Postponing Sexual Involvement and pregnancy Prevention are HiTops’ first in-school programs presented to assemblies at Princeton Day School and John Witherspoon Middle School.

1988

HiTops in Wonderland, a musical, performed in area high schools to announce opening of HiTops. Advance Practice Nurses provide preventative reproductive healthcare for teen girls and launch HiTops first education programming for middle school youth on puberty, gender issues, decision-making, and birth control.

1987

FamilyBorn creates a new program named HiTops to provide adolescent health services to youth. Betty Wold Johnson provides seed funding.