Foster chosen as YADAPP intern
Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Cumberland County native Trevon Foster will serve as an intern for the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s (ABC) 2019 Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP), according to a news release from ABC.
The youth-led substance use prevention program is launched during a five-day conference held annually at Longwood University, which is set for July 15-19. YADAPP empowers young adults to become involved in keeping their communities alcohol and drug free. Hundreds of motivated high school students gather annually at the kick-off event, which features engaging workshops and presentations. In addition, participants discuss issues young adults face in school and create customized Strategies to Act Now (STAN) Plans to deter alcohol and drug use. The students implement these plans during the following school year.
Foster has participated in YADAPP for five years. A Cumberland County High School graduate and now a student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, he explained that participating in YADAPP has taught him the importance of leadership. “YADAPP changed the way I look at situations, especially when it comes to dealing with substance use and abuse,” said Foster. “During the past five years my leadership skills have also grown within the conference and my own community.”
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High school students who attend YADAPP have the opportunity to network with young leaders like Foster, who has participated in previous conferences. Prior to his selection as an intern—YADAPP’s top leadership role—Foster was a youth staff member in the program. Interns begin as YADAPP attendees and work their way through three levels of peer leadership to become conference leaders. Interns are selected the year prior to the conference and start planning nine months before the event.
“YADAPP interns are crucial to the success of this event,” said Virginia ABC Education and Prevention Manager Katie Crumble. “Their responsibilities range from planning the conference agenda to helping train youth leaders and from preparing materials to coordinating activities. The interns build leadership skills and gain marketing, logistics management, budgeting and public speaking experience. Perhaps most importantly, they provide inspiration to the younger students and motivate them to spread a message of prevention at their schools and in their communities.”
YADAPP teams are made up of four high school students and one adult sponsor. Student participants are rising ninth through 12th graders. The adult sponsors are affiliated with a high school (guidance counselor, teacher, resource officer, coach), involved with a community group (parks and recreation, teen council) or belong to a faith-based organization (youth group leader).
Early enrollment opens March 1, 2019. The fee includes lodging and meals at Longwood University and all conference materials for four students and one adult for the entire week. Online enrollment will be available March 1 at www.yadapp.com.
Since its inception 35 years ago, YADAPP has developed youth peer leadership that fosters substance use prevention at the state and local levels.