Hanover students at YADAPP

Kayla Oakley

Drugs and alcohol create a lifelong
trap, but juniors Nikki Gooding
and Sarah Bashaw are participating
in a conference organized by
YADAPP.
YADAPP, or Youth Alcohol and
Drug Abuse Prevention Project, is an
annual summer leadership conference
that takes place at Longwood
University in Farmville, VA. It encourages
teens to keep their schools
and communities alcohol and
drug free by taking positive peer
leadership roles.
“[The conference] is
five days long and [it] tries
to influence all of the kids
[by educating] them on the
harmful effects of substance
abuse,” Gooding said.
The conference gives participants
a more hands-on experience
in drug prevention than
programs offered during class at
school.
“We have 7th UP here, and I’m
not trying to downplay 7th UP because
I’m [a member], but [the conference]
is way more realistic because
we have speakers that come
who’ve actually been through [drug
abuse problems],” Gooding said.
During the program, each school’s
team of student representatives
works together to brainstorm ways
to implement an action plan called a
STAN, or “Strategies To Act Now,” at
each of their schools.
“A STAN plan is what you bring
back to the community [in order to
improve it],” Bashaw said.
Bashaw and Gooding attended the
function last year as participants,
and were accepted
as youth leaders for the conference
this year.
“It’s impacted my life
more than I thought it would,”
Bashaw said .
“ [ A t first] it was just a camp
to put on college applications,
but it [grew] to be more than that
in the end.”
This year’s YADAPP conference
will be from July 20 to 24.

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