So You Want to Build a Youth Coalition...
EVERY COMMUNITY NEEDS A YOUTH COALITION!
Our nation is in the midst of a substance use crisis unlike anything in our history. Our best and brightest hope for addressing these challenges are today’s youth. Their perspective, intelligence, drive and creativity bring us hope for tomorrow.
But how do we harness that energy? How do we mobilize an army of prevention minded young people to lead their generation into healthy, safe futures? Let us help you answer these questions, and more!
OUR COALITION STORY
In July of 2018, at the request of young people in our community, Drug Free Cecil began to develop the idea of a Youth Coalition. (Drug Free Cecil is a collaboration between all prevention focused coalitions in Cecil County, Md.) After several months of planning our first meeting was held in November, 2018 at the offices of Youth Empowerment Source (YES).
YES represents the youth serving sector on our local coalitions and are experts in prevention and in everything youth related. Much to our surprise 20 youth representing all 6 county high schools were in attendance that first night!
Three months later 9 of those youth attended CADCA’s National Forum and were inspired to take prevention in our community to another level! They were certified to provide peer to peer training on the dangers of Over the Counter medicine and began working on plans to provide a county wide Prevention Rally as a launch to National Prevention Week. With outstanding community support 8 students attended CADCA’s Mid Year Youth Leadership Institute in Dallas, Tx.
Since that first meeting we have expanded to 7 prevention groups, comprised of the community based coalition at the YES office and a school based group at every individual high school. We have won local, state and national honors for our projects and activities. Best of all we have laid the foundation for community level change, led by our youth!