VA: Brunswick Young Adult Chosen for Leadership Role In Student-led Prevention Program
By the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority
January 23, 2020
RICHMOND – Brunswick County native Justin Jackson can sum up his experience with the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) in one word: “impactful.” The Brunswick High School graduate, now a student at Old Dominion University, will serve as one of four interns for the annual program in 2020. He has participated in YADAPP for five years and wants to help guide others through the year-long program that has had a profound impact on his life.
“I have peers who smoke and drink, and because of YADAPP I don’t feel the need or want to smoke or drink to have fun,” said Jackson.
The annual program begins with a kick-off conference that will be held July 13-17 at Longwood University in Farmville. Participation requires enrollment of a team of four student leaders and one adult sponsor. During the conference, students attend topical workshops, 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 and the $500 Wheeler Award to help fund their prevention efforts.
Early enrollment, which opens March 1, costs $500 per team ($100 per person) until April 30. The price then increases to $600 per team until the June 1 enrollment deadline. The fee includes lodging, meals and materials during the conference, as well as year-long coaching and support for adult sponsors as they aid their team in implementing their STAN Plan throughout the school year.
During the kick-off conference, adult sponsors participate in their own track. They receive resources and training on topics that will help them support their team. Adult sponsors are eligible for continuing education units. Law enforcement officers are eligible for partial in-service credits through Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services.
“It is exciting to see students involved in YADAPP grow and develop over the years to have increased knowledge of substance use prevention, increased confidence and increased commitment to staying substance free,” said Katie Crumble, Virginia ABC Education and Prevention manager.
High school students who attend the YADAPP kick-off conference have the opportunity to network with young leaders like Jackson, who have participated in previous conferences. Interns begin as YADAPP participants and work their way through three levels of peer leadership to become conference leaders. Interns are selected the year prior to the conference and are responsible for planning aspects of the conference including training younger youth staff members who lead conference participants throughout the week and facilitate STAN Plan development. For more information, please contact the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority at (804) 977-7740 or visit www.yadapp.com.