Eight Rio Arriba Youth Attend CADA’s National Leadership Forum

The Eight Rio Arriba youth in Washington. Courtesy photo

Eight Rio Arriba Youth Attend CADA’s National Leadership Forum

ESPAÑOLA — RAC STOP’S GENERATION HOPE YOUTH COALITION in collaboration with NCCBS – NORTHERN RIO ARRIBA COMMUNITY HEALTH COALITION made it their mission to send (8) youth (4) from each coalition to the CADCA’s 25th National Leadership Forum and SAMHSA’s 11th Prevention Day which was held from February 2 – 5, 2015 held at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, Maryland, MD.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest and premier training event for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers. Training sessions addressed some of the most pressing issues facing communities today – from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and marijuana use among youth to how to reduce tobacco use and underage drinking. CADCA designed the National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI) to equip youth and their adult advisors with the essential knowledge and skills needed to make significant community-level change.

Youth and young adults trained by CADCA are assuming leadership roles in their community as evidenced by:

  • Youth have taken on decision-making positions in coalitions/local organizations
  • Local organizations are more responsive to youth needs and inclusion in community problem solving
  • Youth are supported and actively involved in youth-led civic engagement
  • Systems changes required to impact social consequences are happening
  • Identified community problems decline

The youth and adult’s schedule for the week consisted of the SAMHSA’s 11th prevention day, youth training sessions, exhibits, coalition ideas fair poster presentations, networking, national leadership plenary which is the official kick-off to the National Leadership Forum bringing together top experts and policy makers in the field of alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention.

Youth were given an opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and get the latest and most up-to-date information on legislation, how the Administration and Congress are shaping substance abuse prevention policy which will affect them and their coalition.  They were also able to interact with key Hill staffers and hear from congressional leaders!

In collaboration both youth coalitions worked diligently in raising funds to assist with the cost, along with support from their perspective communities, RAC STOP and NCCBS by undertaking the following:

•             Hot Chocolate – Biscochito sale before the City of Española Electric Parade
•             Salsa Sale for the month of January just in time for the Super Bowl
•             Frito Pie sale at the Española Wal-mart

On behalf of RAC STOP’S – GENERATION HOPE YOUTH COALITION and NCCBS – NORTHERN RIO ARRIBA COMMUNITY HEALTH COALITION wish to extend a special thanks to all who supported this great opportunity for the region’s youth.