a story of partnership
Franklin County Teen Institute is a program that gives youth the skills and confidence they need to promote wellness and a substance free lifestyle. With encouragement and education, teens can lead by example, positively influence other students’ behavior and encourage healthy decisions when it comes to drinking and drug use. Moses is a graduate of Teen Institute and an exemplary teen leader.
Moses's story is an example of how United Way prevents substance abuse, supports families and promotes mental health.
Positive connection, empowerment, engagement and community are key aspects of youth well-being. Youth voice and participation are vital to promote any wellness & prevention strategies – we see the greatest success when we focus on what increases youth wellness rather than trying stop negative behaviors.
Why we need this
Schools and community partners lack clear collaboration around prevention efforts, and often do not engage the students in planning. As a result, students receive many mixed messages from their families, communities and the media, and don’t always make informed choices around substance use.
Local research revealed that of Franklin County teens:
44% say they feel like they do not matter to other people;
- 22% report being bullied within the past 30 days;
- 31% drank alcohol and 20% drove with a drinking driver within the past 30 days.
How it Works
Students in Franklin County high schools come together for a week-long training in the summer where they build trust, self confidence, and skills in promoting prevention and wellness. During this week youth and adults work together to guide, support, and educate participants. While at Teen Institute, students create a plan to promote wellness at school, where they receive support from community organizations and Teen Institute advisors.
United Way staff played a vital role in bringing community partners together while coordinating and providing leadership for Teen Institute. United Way of Northwest Vermont continues to provide both financial and staff support.