13 youth and 4 adults for a total of 17 Cheboygan County delegates attended the CADCA National Leadership Forum in Maryland (Washington DC). We had 10 youth and 2 adults attending for the first time. These youth (plus an adult advisor) participated in the Key Essentials workshop where they learned the basics of the Strategic Prevention Framework. The three returning youth chose the workshops that interested them.
On Wednesday morning, we met with Congressman Jack Bergman in his office. The youth presented statistics and personal accounts of the impact that vaping nicotine is having on students in their schools. They advocated for changes in advertising access for vape marketing and stiffer penalties for adults who provide vapes to minors. They also thanked Congressman Bergman for his support of federal funding that helps youth substance use prevention work, like the Drug Free Communities grant.
The group also used this opportunity to explore and learn more about Washington DC. Toured the Capitol Building; walked the National Mall; visited some of the monuments on the National Mall; checked out the Smithsonian Zoo; toured the International Spy Museum and participated in an escape room challenge as a team building and leadership skill development activity.
Some of the youth’s comments about this trip:
“This trip was very fun and educational. We learned a lot about leadership while learning about freedom and budgeting.” [The youth were given a meal budget that they had to track.] – Nora
“Very impactful to hear other youth perspectives.” – Lyllien
“A very informative experience that is great for youth who want to expand their knowledge about substance abuse.” - Luca