Up North Prevention has provided a unique opportunity for leadership, growth, and adventure for Northeast Michigan teens over this past summer. Youth from Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, and Presque Isle Counties came together at various locations for a morning of education, great meals, and fun afternoons. Education surrounded around deep discussions involving hot topics affecting youth, their communities, and schools. Morning sessions also focused on meeting protocol, project planning, and overall leadership growth. Afternoons were filled with fun activities that offered the opportunity for teambuilding while participating in laser tag, axe throwing, kayaking, and fishing. One teen described the summer program best when she summed it up as, “a group of students from different schools who build each other’s confidence and leadership skills and recognize the benefit of being a voice.”
The new school year will bring exciting opportunities for these teens to engage additional students from their respective communities who are committed to making change in their school. Together, students will determine the initial focus of the group and plan a project to address a need in their schools. Each program is assigned an Up North Prevention staff person to serve as an advisor who will assist under the leadership of the teens and works as an advocate with school administration.