Youth Empowerment Solutions
The Youth Empowerment Solutions Program (or “YES”) is designed to help 6th-8th grade students develop the knowledge and skills they need to plan and lead community change projects here in Stockbridge. SRSLY believes that the best way to make positive changes in our community, and reduce destructive behaviors like underage drinking and drug use, is to let youth take the lead. The YES Program prepares them to do just that.
The YES Program was developed by the Prevention Research Center of Michigan, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The SRSLY Coalition is implementing the YES Program in Stockbridge in order to empower young people and create positive community change. With permission from the original authors, SRSLY has adjusted the original curriculum to specifically target destructive behavior in Stockbridge youth.
The free program consists of five in-service trainings and additional team meetings as needed through the end of the school year. The in-service trainings cover teamwork, leadership and project planning. The program includes a community asset visit, a discussion with community leaders, and a “windshielding” activity, during which youth learn how to identify community assets and liabilities.
Guiding Good Choices
Guiding Good Choices (GGC) is highly effective in reducing drug and alcohol use among kids whose parents participate. In fact, kids whose parents participate are 40% less likely to use drugs and alcohol than kids whose parents don’t.
GGC consists of one two-hour workshop per week, for five weeks. Parents enjoy this skill-based program, and agree that their children’s health and safety are worth the ten-hour time investment.
During lively, interactive workshops, parents learn practical skills to help them strengthen their relationship with their children, and help kids avoid drug use and other problems. Parents who have completed GGC in Chelsea with SRSLY have said:
“The Guiding Good Choices program gave me a better understanding of the pressure our children experience to use drugs and alcohol. It underscored the importance of talking openly about the risks of drug and alcohol use, and expressing my values.”
“I didn’t think Guiding Good Choices was for me since I have a degree in child development, but now that I’ve taken the course, I feel like I made it just in time as a soon-to-be middle school parent.”
“I enjoyed the variety of teaching methods, and interactive discussion with other parents. We were able to share our own experiences, and learn from the experiences of others.”
“It can be intimidating to talk to kids about alcohol use, and a lot of parents want to avoid conflict with their kids, so they just don’t tackle the subject. Parents want their kids to say no to drugs and alcohol, but they do not always know what they can do to make sure that happens. I want to give parents tools and strategies to help prevent tragedies, including youth deaths due to overdoses or accidents.”
There are two ways parents can participate in GGC:
- Sign up for a session (already scheduled).
- Schedule your own session. Groups of eight or more who would like to complete GGC can schedule a private session at a time and place that is convenient for your group.