Youth Prevention Leaders at Work!

August 13, 2019

Youth Prevention Leaders at Work!

– Emily Hecker, Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community Communications Coordinator

Above the Influence Burlington (on insta @ATI.BTV) and BE Above youth are leading the way to a healthier community. We wanted to highlight some of their recent accomplishments.

The Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Education recognized Our Voices Xposed (OVX) youth and their advisors on World No Tobacco Day, May 31, for their extraordinary work in youth engagement and activism. Congratulations to Burlington High School Above The Influence member and Our Voices Xposed (OVX) group member, Safiya Ibrahim, for receiving the OVX Youth Advocate of the Year Award from the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Agency of Education! Thank you, Safiya, for all your work to support healthy choices in Burlington! Burlington High School and Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community also won an award for “Best Community Partnership.”

In June, ATI and BE Above students participated in the annual Sticker Shock project, informing adults about the harms of supplying alcohol to minors. Stickers were put on packs of beer and alcoholic beverages at the Hannaford on North Ave. Check out the campaign’s “brainy” new design:

If you’d like to see some youth prevention work in person, swing by the Boys and Girls Club, the Burlington High School library, or King Street Center this summer to see the #ISPYALIE photograph collection. Youth created this series of pictures capturing tobacco, alcohol and other substance advertising they see in their day-to-day lives, in an effort to encourage policymakers to support limiting adult-only product advertising and outlet density in areas where there are high concentrations of young people.

This July, adult leaders and student members of Burlington School District prevention groups – Above the Influence BTV and BE Above BTV – traveled to Smithfield, Rhode Island to attend the Youth to Youth Eastern States Conference.  Youth to Youth (Y2Y) conferences bring together teens from across the country who have chosen a drug-free lifestyle.  Over 600 middle and high school students attended this year’s Y2Y Eastern States Conference.  During the four-day conference, students attended educational and interactive workshops about alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs; practiced leadership skills; heard from nationally recognized speakers; developed action plans to create positive change in their own communities; and had a TON OF FUN!