Enrollment is open for Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s (ABC) 35th annual Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) kick-off conference, “Launching Leaders for a Better Tomorrow.”
YADAPP is a unique peer leadership opportunity fostering healthy communities and the prevention of substance use. It is a year-long experience which begins each summer with a five-day conference. This year’s conference will be held July 15-19 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 these 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. Through April 30, teams may take advantage of a $100 discount on the $400 ($80 per person) enrollment fee and pay only $300. After this early enrollment period, the price increases to the normal $400 per team. The deadline for enrollment is July 1. The YADAPP enrollment fee includes lodging and meals at Longwood University and all conference materials for four students and one adult for the entire week, as well as project resources and year-long coaching support. Online enrollment is available at www.yadapp.com.
During the conference, teams compete for $250 mini-grants and the $500 Wheeler Award grant 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 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 guides for conference participants, and build to the top level serving as conference interns. YADAPP interns are college students who spend 10 months planning every aspect of the program including marketing, curriculum development and evaluation.
“Now more than ever, Virginia’s youth need an opportunity to grow and learn in safe, drug- and alcohol-free environments,” said Virginia ABC Education and Prevention Manager Katie Crumble. “This youth-led experience is an inspiring and proven 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 Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.1 billion to the general fund in the last five years. Virginia ABC currently operates 376 state stores, and provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 18,000 ABC licensed establishments. Now marking its 85th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.