Involving Youth in Prevention Work
Why involving youth in prevention work can be a game changer.
Youth leadership in prevention programming is a game changer, and here’s why: Youth are creative, candid, and influential. Youth who are passionate about preventing underage drinking in their schools and communities can have a great impact on the environment in which they and their peers live. Youth are also more likely to listen to their peers, especially when it is something their peers are invested in. By creating a place for youth leadership in our prevention programs we enhance our credibility.
LUK does most of their prevention work with youth in two ways – through LUK’s Peers 4 Prevention program, which hires high school students to be Peer Leaders and educate other students about Operating Under the Influence (OUI) prevention, and through the Substance Use Prevention Collaboratives (SAPC) in the East and West parts of North Worcester County.
Peers 4 Prevention
Since September, LUK Peer Leaders have presented to over 300 students in Fitchburg regarding Operating Under the Influence (OUI) prevention, and focused on the dangers of using substances and the dangers and consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 2016, the Peer Leaders created a video PSA called Think Before You Drink that can be viewed on our YouTube channel here.
LUK Peers also attend community events to share this information with students and their parents.
SAPC Social Marketing Campaign
LUK’s SAPC programs were busy throughout the winter and early spring planning a social marketing campaign, which was launched in April. This year, SAPC East and West have teamed up to tackle underage drinking! Like in years past, the campaign will focus on “Life is Full of Shots Worth Taking,” which aims to remind youth that there are better things to pursue than drinking alcohol.
This year, youth leaders from Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC) have been very influential as part of the planning committee. MOC peer leaders not only attended every meeting, but provided fresh ideas and new perspectives on social marketing and social platforms. This has empowered SAPC staff to look at “the way things have always been done” and think about new and exciting ways to reach young people.
To view the PSAs that the youth helped to produce, visit www.YouTube.com/LUKVideo4u and watch the videos titled Life is Full of Shots Worth Taking 1 & 2.