Enrollment is open for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC) Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP).
The unique peer leadership opportunity fostering substance use prevention and healthy communities is a year-long experience which begins each summer during a five-day conference. This year’s conference will be held July 17-21 at Longwood University in Farmville.
During the conference students attend topical workshops, hear from internationally recognized motivational speakers, learn peer leadership and prevention best practices and develop strategic plans to address alcohol or drug use among their peers. Virginia ABC staff provides support throughout the following academic year as YADAPP teams implement plans in their respective communities.
All high schools and community organizations in Virginia can participate in this year-long partnership by sending a team of four student leaders with at least one adult sponsor to the conference. Enrollment costs $300 per team ($60 per person) until April 30. The price then increases to $400 per team until the July 1 enrollment deadline. The fee includes lodging and meals at Longwood University and all conference materials for four students and one adult for the entire week, project resources and year-long coaching support. Online enrollment is available at www.yadapp.com.
Teams compete for $250 mini-grants and a $500 Wheeler Award to help fund their efforts. YADAPP adult sponsors earn continuing education units through their professional track that combines professional development and networking.
In addition to working on their prevention plans, students can expand their experience as peer leaders. Participants can apply for YADAPP youth staff positions and progress through four levels of leadership with increasing responsibilities from the “Youth Leader” role, acting as guides for conference participants, to the top level as interns. YADAPP interns are college students who spend 10 months planning every aspect of the program including marketing, curriculum development and evaluation.
“Virginia’s youth need a safe and drug-free environment to achieve personal success and build strong communities,” said Virginia ABC Chairman Jeffrey Painter. “This youth-led experience is an inspiring and effective means for young leaders to take a stand and create positive change. Their courage and commitment to making a difference save lives across the commonwealth.”
Since its inception in 1984, approximately 450 different high schools and community organizations and more than 10,000 students have participated in YADAPP. For more information, visit the YADAPP website, http://www.yadapp.com.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.9 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 364 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 17,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now marking its 83rd year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.