The Fayette County Youth-Led Prevention Coalition explained its recent growth this year from both school districts.
Between both Miami Trace High School (Lead Out Loud) and Washington Middle School (Break Free), 56 students from grades seventh-12th were involved in coalition meetings held at each school once a month. A total of nine students went to the “We Are the Majority Rally,” in Columbus, 51 youth attended the Summer Kick Off event hosted at Roller Haven, five students attended the “Youth 2 Youth International Conference at Ohio Dominican University and eight middle school students attended the first-annual Summer Leadership Conference at Deer Creek State Park. Students are excited about prevention and it shows.
“The youth in Fayette County want to make a difference,” said Nina Rains, DFC coordinator for the Fayette County Prevention Coalition. “These young people have seen the impact addiction has had in their home, in their family and in their community and they want to do something about it. We want to empower our youth to be the change they wish to see and we are proud of what they have accomplished so far.”
Over the course of the school year, youth at both Miami Trace Local Schools and Washington City Schools joined together in an effort to solve the problem of focus: mental health. Stress and anxiety makes life difficult at times but students want to spread the message to peers that they are not alone and there are positive ways to cope. After much brainstorming, Lead Out Loud students began working on projects to combat this problem from positive messaging campaigns to a promotional video created by students. One student even designed and built a box for peers to drop notes into if they need someone to talk to.
“I am so proud of our coalition kids,” said Chuck Bennett, the Youth and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Prevention Coalition. “They have worked really hard on their projects and I look forward to seeing our coalition grow this coming school year.”
The youth-led coalition continues to grow. Beginning in August, there will be youth-led coalitions at both middle and high schools and meetings will be held during school several times per month. If any child in grades sixth-12th is interested in being a part of this growing group, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All students are welcome!
The Faith in Recovery/Fayette County Prevention Coalition is committed to create a unified community response to prevent youth substance abuse and support the development of effective community programs to promote a safer, healthier, and drug free Fayette County.