Enrollment Opens for Year-Long High School Peer Leadership Experience
RICHMOND – Enrollment opens on Friday, April 1, for the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s (ABC) Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP).
YADAPP is a unique peer leadership opportunity fostering healthy communities and the prevention of substance use. The annual program begins with a kick-off conference which will be held virtually July 11-14. Participation requires the registration of a team of four high school student participants and one adult sponsor.
During the conference, students attend topical workshops facilitated by peer leaders, hear from well-known motivational speakers, learn peer leadership and prevention best practices and develop a Strategies To Act Now (STAN) Plan to address substance use among their peers. Teams compete for $250 mini-grants to use as seed money for their STAN Plan and the $500 Wheeler Award to sustain their continued prevention efforts.
Early enrollment opens April 1 and offers the discounted enrollment rate of $100 per team ($20 per person) until April 30. The price then increases to $125 per team until the June 1 enrollment deadline. The fee includes conference materials, as well as year-long coaching and support for adult sponsors as they aid their team in implementing its STAN Plan throughout the school year.
Adult sponsors participate in their own track throughout the four-day conference. They receive resources and training on topics that will help them support their team. Adult sponsors are eligible for continuing education units and professional development hours. Law enforcement officers are eligible for partial in-service credits through the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
In addition to working on their prevention plans, students can expand their experience as peer leaders by applying for YADAPP youth staff positions and progressing through four levels of leadership with increasing responsibilities. These levels start with the youth leader role, acting as a guide for conference participants, and build to the top level of serving as conference interns. YADAPP interns are college students who spend 10 months planning aspects of the program including curriculum development and youth staff training.
“Peer-led substance use prevention is a proven effective path for young leaders to take a stand to create positive change and promote healthy behaviors among youth in the commonwealth,” explained Virginia ABC Director of Education and Prevention Katie Crumble. “Given the upheaval of the past couple of years and its impact on our youth, the program offers timely tools created specifically to help students navigate pressures and enable them to make smart choices.”
Since its inception in 1984, approximately 450 different high schools and community organizations and more than 12,000 students have participated in YADAPP. For more information and to enroll, visit the YADAPP website, http://www.yadapp.com.