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Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has proliferated across the United States, and in the process, it has disrupted all sense of normalcy. Because adolescents are in a critical period for growth and development, youth are particularly susceptible to negative impacts of disruption from COVID-19. Therefore, sustaining youth development programs is essential to ensuring positive youth development occurs despite significant challenges. Unfortunately, the implementation of programs that maintain safety precautions can be challenging. Many programs have been forced to either cancel all activities or to transition program elements to a virtual format. Rural Medical and Science Scholars (RMSS) program administrative staff made the decision to transition to a virtual delivery. Despite only having a few weeks to reshape the program, RMSS administrative staff were able to innovatively adapt to new challenges in order to deliver a successful program. The success of the program extends beyond its participants. By understanding potential program barriers and successful adaptation methods, other youth development programs will be better equipped to sustain program activities and youth outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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