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Power of You(th) Presentation

Hosted by: Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Nevada

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

We held a youth presentation at Incline High School for just over 100 students and staff. We were able to engage the youth in discussions about protecting your brain, resisting negative peer pressure, and understanding how the decisions you make today will define your future. The presentation was more engaging because, instead of telling students things they should not do, they were asked questions and then told each choice has a consequence. This allowed students to think for themselves. They were given the correct information, especially around marijuana, as some students think that just because recreational marijuana was passed/is legal, it is safer. Being able to share important information with the students in an engaging way was one of the goals the Communities Talk activity helped us accomplish. The school was provided with some posters for displaying in their rooms and a 411 informational booklet that reminds them of the information they learned during the presentation.

There is Information on Power of You(th) available online.

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

There isn’t a lot of underage drinking prevention in Nevada, and MADD was happy to get the chance to present at the high school. Incline High School just experienced two drug-involved deaths of students in the past few months, so the administration really wanted to have an event like this to get the school and community talking about underage drinking prevention. Nevada has a lot of statistics on alcohol and other drug misuse that can be found here

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Which prevention strategy(ies), as defined by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, best fit your Communities Talk activity?

  • Community-Based Process Strategy - focuses on enhancing the capacity of the community to address AOD issues through organizing, planning, collaboration, coalition building, and networking.
  • Education Strategy – focuses on “two-way” communication between the facilitator and participants and aims to improve life/social skills such as decision making, refusal skills, and critical analysis.
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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Create alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention action groups (e.g., committees, task forces, and advisory boards).
  • Start a youth-led coalition on alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention.
  • Build coalitions with other agencies or programs to reduce and prevent alcohol and/or other drug misuse.
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Did you accomplish your goal(s)?


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What challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Unforeseen difficulties when planning our activity
  • Lack of promotion/awareness of our activity or organization
  • Inexperience hosting Communities Talk activities
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How did you overcome these challenges?

MADD is new to Nevada so we are just in the building stage of making connections and joining coalitions. We have found school districts somewhat resistant to letting MADD in the classroom. We are making friends with community partners to work with them to increase MADD awareness.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
  • Conduct research efforts to learn more about issues in our community
  • Create a public education campaign to raise awareness and/or change behaviors around underage drinking (i.e., create PSAs and other promotional materials)
  • We also released an activation kit for students to become student leaders and have their own prevention discussions at school. We are going to reach back out to Incline High School to see if they would be interested in having these kits at their school.
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If you’ve conducted Communities Talk activities in prior years, how has your repeated participation contributed to progress in achieving your prevention goals?

This is the first time we have participated in Communities Talk. We know it won’t be the last! There weren’t many prevention efforts in this community, but with the support of the Communities Talk stipend, we were able to kickstart conversations around prevention efforts for youth. With this being our first time conducting a Communities Talk, we were pleased with the website resources that helped us navigate what we need to do. 

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Organizations that conduct Communities Talk activities often involve other organizations in the planning and execution of events. Please indicate which type(s) of organizations you involved in your activity planning.

  • Secondary schools
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Which of the following best describes the primary audience(s) for your Communities Talk activity?

  • Youth
  • Teachers or other education staff
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How did you reach and engage your primary audience(s) to encourage them to participate in your activity?

We conducted outreach sessions to reach teachers and other community members who could help us get into a school. We were able to make cold calls to different schools to see who was interested in letting us present at their school. We worked with school personnel to make this event feel special instead of just another presentation. We provided program collateral, such as information booklets and prizes for participation. Instead of lecturing to the students, we dialogued with them in a Q&A format. In this way, students felt comfortable asking questions, sharing their thoughts about what they learned, and making suggestions for future Communities Talk presentations. 

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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Being new to this, we used the Communities Talk website to get ideas and used the planning guides to get started.

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