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NPN Conference

On Tuesday, September 13th students of Dover Youth to Youth presented a workshop titled “Empowering Youth in Policy Change and Advocacy” at the National Prevention Network Conference in Buffalo NY.

The focus of the workshop is to assist a community in preparing youth advocates to participate in policy change and community advocacy. This youth-taught session will utilize live demonstrations and audience participation to illustrate the Knowledge > Skills > Action model of how youth can be organized and empowered in a community to become aggressive instigators of environmental change. The workshop will explain the difference between youth involvement, engagement and empowerment; the role of skill development in achieving empowerment; and explain the core best practices in administering and organizing a successful youth empowerment program.
Attendees will be exposed to many ideas for action, with a primary focus on policy change. The presenters will describe a variety of non-legislative, community level policy change initiatives that can be easily replicated. In addition, specific examples and case studies of legislative policy change efforts by youth will be provided, including a step by step description of the process used by students to pass a city ordinance in their community restricting the public use of e-cigarettes. The presenters will share a variety of resources that can be used by attendees to aid policy change efforts in their communities, including project descriptions, examples of testimony, and training tools used to prepare participating teens.

The workshop is ideal for adults or organizations that would like to partner more effectively with youth advocates within their catchment; for community coalitions that would like to have greater youth participation; or for entities that would like to broaden their existing youth advocacy efforts. The format will be equally suited to adult or youth attendees who are interested in advocacy. This session will be taught by students from Dover Youth to Youth, a nationally recognized student advocacy group from New Hampshire. The model of empowerment described is on the New Hampshire list of evidence-based initiatives and currently under advanced NREPP review.

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