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YADAPP Grant Recipients

August 16, 2023

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Virginia ABC Awards Grants to Support Youth Leadership Efforts to Prevent Substance Use

A plan to raise awareness about the dangers of vaping and tobacco use among teens at Carlisle School in Martinsville has earned members of a 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 yearlong YADAPP program. 

High school students from the CHILL (Communities Helping Improve Local Lives) Youth Task Force of Martinsville and Henry County 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 youth task force members wanted to educate their peers on the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs on your body, specifically as a student athlete. They organized an assembly for upperclassmen to hear a pharmacist and performance specialist discuss the dangers of vaping, particularly on athletes. Members of the task force also introduced a sports agreement to pledge to be substance use-free. The group will use the grant money to expand its efforts to other schools in the area.  

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. 

ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill said, “As other recipients of the Wheeler Award before them, the CHILL Martinsville Henry County Task Force members’ initiative to address the dangers of vaping and tobacco use 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 four YADAPP teams who participated in the YADAPP 2023 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:
•Alternatives Inc. World Changers (Hampton)
•Brunswick High School (Lawrenceville)
•Page County High School (Shenandoah)
•Partnership for Community Wellness (Roanoke)


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 399 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 89th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.

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  • YADAPP Grant Recipients