A plan to raise money to create a safe place for teens in Page County to hangout in a drug- and alcohol-free environment that offers recreational activities and substance use prevention resources has earned members of a county youth coalition a $500 grant from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC).
The grant is part of the Wheeler Award, which is given annually to a school or organization participating in Virginia ABC’s Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP). The grant rewards the ingenuity and successful completion of a plan developed by a student team selected from one of many teams from all over the state who take part in the year-long YADAPP program.
High school students from the Youth Page County Alliance program were this year’s winners for their efforts to raise $25,000 for a community center.
YADAPP is a peer leadership program that begins each summer when high schools and community groups send teams of four students, assisted by an adult sponsor, to a five-day kick-off conference. Teams broaden their knowledge of substance use prevention and work together to create strategic prevention plans known as Strategies to Act Now (STAN) Plans, to be implemented during the following school year. Awards for outstanding STAN Plans are announced the following year.
The Page County team was concerned about the number of fellow students who regularly vape and attend parties where drugs and alcohol are prevalent. They also pointed out that the only alternative gathering place for this rural area are local retail parking lots. The Alliance will use the grant money to support its fundraising activities to create the community center as a safe alternative place for teens to congregate.
Established in 1986, the Wheeler Award honors Morris and Billie Wheeler for their dedication to youth substance use prevention. The Wheelers’ daughter Sandy was killed by a drunk driver in 1981. For more than 30 years the Wheelers supported the prevention efforts of Virginia ABC and other organizations to promote youth leadership and prevent drunk driving.
“The Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project provides our community partners with resources to secure a safe and drug-free environment for Virginia youth,” said ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “As other recipients of the Wheeler Award before them, the Youth Page County Alliance initiative to address a critical community need is inspiring. We applaud the students’ efforts and support their path to achieve success and continued work to build a stronger community and peer network.”
Virginia ABC also named three YADAPP teams who participated in the YADAPP 2022 program winners of mini-grants for their STAN Plans. Schools or organizations represented by the student teams will receive $250 to support their substance use prevention efforts. Mini-grant recipients include teams representing the following schools and communities:
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.7 billion to the general fund in the last five years. Virginia ABC currently operates 395 state stores and provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees approximately 19,000 ABC licensed establishments. Now marking its 88th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.
Web: www.abc.virginia.gov Facebook: @VirginiaABC Twitter: @VirginiaABC LinkedIn
YADAPP Mini Grants