Friday, March 24th, 2017

Indian River Youth 2 Youth


From 2010 to 2016, the Indian River Youth 2 Youth (Y2Y) after-school program helped students in grades 5 through 8 understand the impact of risky behaviors, including alcohol and drug use; helped them develop skills to make healthy choices; and engaged them in projects within their school and community to support making healthy choices and developing a substance-free lifestyle.

The program was launched to address two concerns for middle school aged students in the Mascoma Valley community: 1) indications that too many youth began using alcohol and marijuana before the age of 13, increasing their risk for life-long problems, and 2) too many youth had no positive after school activities.

Youth Risk Behavior Survey results from 2015 indicate that all the efforts underway in the region had a positive impact on the percentage of students beginning to use alcohol and marijuana before the age of 13.  The school district has implemented a number of new programs and services to support our youth and other organizations have stepped up to offer new after school programs for students. With the resignation of our long-time Y2Y Program Coordinator at the end of the 2015/2016 school year, we determined that our resources could be better used elsewhere.

The PHC continues to work with district personnel and community members to build a a safe and supportive community for Mascoma Valley youth. In 2016/2017, we hope to help bring additional staff training to the district on issues of mental health and emotional well-being, conduct a survey among 7th and 8th graders to better understand their experiences, and expand the network of community members dedicated to supporting youth. Contact Alice Ely at alice.ely@uvpublichealth.org for more information.