The Madison County Youth in Action, Inc. Youth Coalition was recognized as the 2018 Kentucky Youth Empowerment System (Y.E.S.) Youth of the Year by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities and the Bluegrass Prevention Center.  The youth group was honored for their community-based programs to prevent youth substance abuse yesterday, September 26, 2018, during the 11th Annual Kentucky Prevention Network State Conference in Lexington.  In addition to this state recognition, Madison County Youth in Action will receive $500 of additional funding for youth-led substance abuse prevention programs.

Tara McGuire, Kentucky Alcohol Prevention Enhancement Site Manager, nominated this youth coalition for the state award wrote, “I have had the pleasure of working with this volunteer youth-led coalition since the group was founded in December 2006, nearly 12 years ago.  The group conducts year-round data-driven, environmental programs to target nearly every sector of their community.  During FY18, 11 local businesses, 5 law enforcement agencies, Family Resource Centers, 4 media outlets, 3 high schools, 2 school districts and many more participated in prevention events led by these local teens.  Jennifer Webb is the group’s founder and advisor, and the amazing lady responsible for this group’s long-term success.  She ensures the youth gain leadership skills through their experience with Youth in Action, along with an appreciation for the value in serving their community which last long after high school graduation.  I have witnessed youth coalition members graduate high school then return to serve the youth coalition as an adult volunteer and role model.  The youth and their advisor truly are changing lives and creating a healthier, safer Madison County.”

Madison County Youth in Action is a volunteer youth-led organization dedicated to stopping youth alcohol and illicit drug use.  This youth group also received the Kentucky YES Youth Group of the Year Award in 2008 and the Heart of MADD Award in 2012, demonstrating their on-going commitment and service to community-based prevention efforts.  Some of the group’s recent projects are listed below.

  • Recognizing those who serve us: 27 members of this youth coalition addressed 72 law enforcement officers by conducting Roll Call Briefings at all five local law enforcement agencies serving Madison County to thank each agency for their efforts to prevent underage drinking and drug use.  Roll Call Briefings have become an annual tradition for this youth coalition, and they were especially well received this year by the youth, law enforcement agencies and the community following the death of Detective Daniel Ellis.  Their advisor, Jennifer Webb, commented on how well this year’s Roll Call Briefings were received, “There are no words to describe what an impact this had on the officers at each agency.”
  • Stay in the Game Media Campaign: The group reached nearly 10,000 Facebook users, 12,000 students throughout Madison County Schools, and others in their community through the Stay in Game Social Norms Campaign which showcases local student athletes to convey underage drinking and drug prevention messages to their peers.
  • PSA Campaign: The youth and the Richmond Chief of Police were featured in an underage drinking prevention radio PSA campaign on WCYO Radio Station reaching Richmond and the surrounding area in December 2017.
  • Sticker Shock: 19 youth coalition members conducted Sticker Shock, accompanied by 8 local law enforcement from 3 departments, placing 10,000 brightly colored warning stickers on multi packs of beer at four alcohol retailers to remind adults at the point of purchase and later inside the home to support underage drinking laws to keep youth safe and alcohol free under 21. Since 2006, Madison County student volunteers have placed more than 100,000 stickers.  This project is utilized in part to promote the group’s continuing endeavor to pass a Madison County Social Host Ordinance.

For more information about Madison County Youth in Action, Inc. visit the group on Facebook or contact Jennifer Webb at [email protected] or [email protected].  For more about the Youth Empowerment System (Y.E.S.), please contact Tara McGuire at [email protected] or 859-225-3296.

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