Melany Escobedo, Lauren Oliver and Estephanie Escobedo recently represented Angelina County during Texans for Safe and Drug-Free Youth’s Fall Leadership Training in the Texas Hill Country.
Melany, Lauren and Estephanie are among 20 youth from across the state selected to serve on Texans for Safe and Drug-Free Youth’s Statewide Leadership Council, an initiative focused on youth substance use prevention.
The YLC is composed of youth leaders aged 15-20 from across Texas who are committed to shaping healthier and safer communities free of youth using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Youth Leadership Council members receive extensive training and new opportunities to develop their skills as prevention advocates and community leaders.
Led by Brent Blackburn, executive director of Extreme Youth Leadership, the Fall Leadership Training focused on teambuilding, developing presentation skills, understanding underage alcohol and other drug use trends and implementing effective prevention strategies.
Underage alcohol consumption is a significant safety issue for Texas youth. In Texas, the average age at which youth report drinking their first alcoholic beverage 13. According to the 2018 Texas School Survey, more than half (52%) of Texas middle and high school students have used alcohol at least once in their lifetime.
“We are excited about the hard work and commitment we’re seeing from this group of youth leaders,” said Alicia Rosas, youth engagement specialist for Texans for Safe and Drug-Free Youth. “If we are going to make lasting impact and reduce underage drinking and other drug use, we need to engage young leaders like our YLC members, who are passionate about advocacy and activism in their own communities.”
For more information about the Youth Leadership Council and efforts to reduce youth alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use in Texas, visit TxSDY.org.