Essex CHIPS (Community Health Initiatives & Programs for Students) is a non-profit organization in Essex, Vermont. For over thirty years, CHIPS has worked with community members to deliver substance abuse prevention campaigns and activities that promote healthy living.
Essex CHIPS began meeting in 1986 as a group of youth and adult volunteers called the Essex Community Wellness Committee. The Essex Community Wellness Committee would gather on a monthly basis at the Lincoln Inn to eat breakfast and discuss issues youth were facing in the local community. In the mid 1990’s the Essex Community Wellness Committee recognized a need for a safe, substance-free space where local youth could meet to gather and have fun. That’s when they launched the Essex Teen Center in 1997.
The Essex Community Wellness Committee and the Essex Teen Center worked collaboratively in Lincoln Hall for many years, but in 2004, Essex CHIPS and The Essex Teen Center merged together under the Essex CHIPS umbrella, creating the structure that exists today! This decision enabled Essex CHIPS to better support and manage the Essex Teen Center and provide youth with the many services we provide today.
CHIPS provides direct service programs for youth and their families in Essex Junction, Essex Town, and Westford. By facilitating partnerships with local organizations, we are able to host and sponsor substance abuse prevention community outreach programs, discussions, and special events for youth. Our Board of Directors is equally represented by youth and adult community members from a variety of sectors.