Enrollment opens for year-long high school peer leadership experience

virginia abcEnrollment is open for the Virginia ABC Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project. 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 16-20 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, and 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 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 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 of 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 Weaks. “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, www.yadapp.com.


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