Londonderry Youth Speaks Out
All over the country youth are speaking out about climate, substance abuse and social justice issues that impact their futures and society. Fifteen year old Skylar Dryden of South Londonderry is vocal about youth vaping and e-cigarette use. “There’s such a variety of discrete vaping devices that kids are using without understanding the risks from inhaling high levels of nicotine,” he says. The Above the Influence group at Flood Brook School is one of many programs established by The Collaborative to develop and support empowered youth leaders. “Since kindergarten, I’ve grown up participating in The Collaborative’s programs including the Extended Day Program, Summer Camp, Refuse To Use, and ATI,” adds Skylar. He and his classmates took up the rallying cry about vaping and presented last year to area middle and high school students and at Kick Butts Day, a community forum that took place on March 20. He was also recently featured on GNAT’TV’s The News Project in ‘Teens and Vaping.’ Currently in ninth grade at Burr and Burton Academy, he has demonstrated that youth voices are powerful in impactful in educating peers. Last week, he brought his voice to the Youth Panel at the Regional Prevention Partnership, part of a day-long professional development workshop sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention program. Afterwards, another coalition invited Skylar to speak with middle and high school students. And he was asked to join The Collaborative next year at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America conference outside Washington, DC. Attended by 3,000 prevention specialists from across the country including educators and law enforcement, the annual event includes a day on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional leaders.
For more information about The Collaborative contact Victoria Silsby at [email protected] or 802-824-4200.