YouthEastPaloAlto (YouthEPA) is a project of the One East Palo Alto (OEPA) Community-Based Partnership for the Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug-Related Problems (Community- Based Partnership). YouthEPA was recently awarded a 2009 Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant to involve and engage the community of East Palo Alto (EPA), CA in a comprehensive initiative to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug abuse among youth. The project’s major activities are described below.
• YouthEPA will create a Steering Committee comprised of at least 12 representatives with a minimum of one for each of the DFC grant’s required sectors. The Steering Committee is comprised of EPA parents and youth, as well as leaders and/or representatives of local nonprofits, public and private sector organizations, state and local government entities, including, but not limited to Bay Area Community Resources/New Perspectives, Born Again Christian Center, Bread of Life Evangelistic Outreach, Built to Last Collaborative, County of San Mateo, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Alcohol and Other Drug Services (AOD), Drew Center Pharmacy, East Palo Alto Police Department, El Concilio of San Mateo County, EPA.net, Free At Last and Ravenswood Family Health Center.
• YouthEPA will recruit, orient, train and supervise a 20-member team of Youth Outreach and Promoter Interns (YOPI) and a four member Youth Planning Team (YPT).
• YouthEPA YOPIs and YPTs, working with project staff and members of the Steering Committee, will play lead roles in a 12-month, youth-driven and resident-centered community assessment, capacity building and planning process focused upon preventing youth use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
• YouthEPA YOPIs will spend three months being trained in a range of best practice strategies in youth leadership, youth organizing, outreach, assessment, planning strategies and the dynamics of community change.
• Once trained YouthEPA YOPIs will engage in extensive community outreach and assessment activities, including facilitation of focus groups, administration of surveys, door-to-door canvassing and analysis of data.
• Together with YouthEPA adult ‘allies’, YOPIs will also co-facilitate Steering Committee planning meetings and participate in large community meetings.
• YouthEPA Youth and adults will administer surveys assessing issues pertaining to the use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs in EPA to providers, students, parents, teachers, and general community residents.
• YouthEPA will host four annual culminating events will be scheduled during the planning year and in subsequent years, with these events combining dialogue with the community and alcohol-free community celebrations.
• To ensure that YouthEPA captures the input of all of EPA, targeted outreach will focus upon new immigrant families, non-English speaking families and other families who are historically uninvolved in community planning.
• Together, YouthEPA youth and adult partners will develop a comprehensive plan designed to prevent youth use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
For more information about YouthEPA, contact the following individuals:
OEPA Executive Director Dr. Faye McNair-Knox (650.980.1809, firstname.lastname@example.org) or
OEPA Community Organizer/Program Coordinator Veiongo Finau-Mahe (Vei) (650.980.1809, email@example.com)
The One East Palo Alto Community Based Partnership for the Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (also known as the East Palo Alto Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition [EPASAPC]) from East Palo Alto (EPA), CA was selected as one of the grant recipients and will receive up to $125,000 in DFC grant funds per year for up to five years to involve and engage the EPA community in comprehensive efforts to prevent substance use among youth.