case study

Project U

We collaborated on a technology and social marketing program to promote student health

Client: Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

The Issue

Teens are at high risk for unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, substance use, asthma, and other conditions.

Despite this, health education is under threat of elimination from school curricula across the country.

The Outcomes

We partnered with the LAUSD to develop a mobile health (mHealth) and social marketing program to address multiple health issues affecting students.

Project U empowers students to make healthy decisions using engaging content, a program website, text messaging, free condoms by mail, leadership trainings, and more.


21st Century Sex Ed In and Out of the Classroom
Kordic T, Plant A, Montoya J. Presented at: 5th Annual Information Science and Information Studies Conference on New Media, Youth, & Sexual Health; April 1-3, 2012; San Francisco, CA.

Using Technology and Social Marketing to Improve Student Health

Sentient Research collaborated with the LAUSD, the second largest school district in the U.S., to create a mobile health (mHealth)  intervention that addresses a range of youth health issues. Project U delivers peer-created content and services to youth on demand through text messaging, a mobile website, social marketing, youth leadership development, and outreach.

By reaching teens where they already are – on their mobile phones – Project U helps youth make healthier decisions for themselves and in their relationships.

Key features of the program include weekly text messages on a range of health topics, the ability to order free condoms by text message, and a website with information on various health issues facing young people and links to local resources such as the free I Know home STI test kit. Project U covers topics such as HIV/STI prevention, healthy relationships, substance use prevention, asthma control, and more. LAUSD holds several Project U leadership summits each year, where hundreds of students are trained to use Project U to launch health campaigns at their schools. In addition, Project U features an innovative social marketing campaign that was developed in partnership with the Design Matters program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.