While many programs provide youth with a safe space for recreation, few are designed to empower young people to address pressing issues within their community. Youth-led programs (YLP) are distinct because they develop young people’s knowledge, skills and attitudes to be catalysts for positive change within their communities. At the core of YLP, youth are engaged in collective activities and experiences that are intended to spark their interest and enhance their ability to address local issues. In short, YLP empower young people to create community change.
Ohio University’s Voinovich School and Leadership and Public Affairs and Drug-Free Action Alliance collaborated with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addition Services (OhioMHAS) to host a series of training and technical assistance (T/TA) activities for adult allies of youth-led programs. This series of white papers was developed by adult allies to support their peers who work with young people to use local data and evidence-based prevention strategies to create meaningful change within Ohio’s communities. Dr. Jessica Collura, Ms. Aimee Collins, Dr. Holly Raffle and Mr. Zach Gheen of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs supported Ohio’s adult allies as they developed the white paper series. Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Grant# 1700315 provided funding for the Youth-Led Training and Technical Assistance Project.