Washington State Prevention Summit 2016!
The White Swan Dream Makers attended the Washington State Prevention Summit on November 6-8th. We had an amazing time at this event! The Dream Makers that attended the summit this year were Alejandra, Alyssa, Kristen, Kathy, Jason, Jayenell, Priscila and Francisco. The Dream Makers really had a blast and agree that it was 100% worthy of missing school!
The event really encouraged the Dream Makers to interact with other coalitions and groups. The groups exchanged ideas that helped their community with youth drug and alcohol use prevention! These ideas were very motivating and creative. For example one of the fellow prevention groups suggested that we hold a alcohol sticker shock to reduce our local youth alcohol usage rate! In case you were wondering what an alcohol sticker shock is, it is when youth put informative stickers about providing alcohol to minors on all alcohol items in a store. These stickers are seen by an adult buying alcohol which informs them about the risks of providing alcohol for minors. Ideas like these were really helpful to the Dream Makers because they opened our minds to gain new strategies that might help us back home with our own prevention campaigns.
Speaking about learning new strategies, workshops were held at the summit which really provided us with a lot of information and ideas that can help improve our campaigns by making them more appealing and successful. One workshop provided a bundle of info over how to make projects more appealing to a certain audience based on their age. Another workshop informed youth about the proper way to talk to government officials and how to get their attention more effectively. We attended about 5 workshops during the summit. The Dream Makers learned quite a lot and met many youth from across the state.
After a hard tiring day of learning, The Dream Makers and the rest of the Youth were invited to participate in a set of evening activities such as a dance, arts & crafts session or a visit to the local YMCA. All of the activities were part of the summit and were open to all of the youth participants. The Dream Makers decided to go to the dance as a group and really enjoyed it! The dance was so energetic and spontaneous that the Dream Makers had to step outside dramatically a few times. Priscila Suarez a Dream Maker, attended the dance and said “The dance was fun and action packed!” Jayenell Lee another Dream Maker that attended the summit stated “I had a great night but I wish I there was more people so I could interact with them”.
The summit was hosted by Raquel Eatmon and Vincent Perez. They did an excellent job hosting the event and made everyone have fun during breaks and meals. Virginia L. Johnson and James C. Wong did an amazing job informing all of the youth/supervisors at the conference about how to improve media campaigns to make them more successful! Finally the closing keynote speaker Luis Ortega moved everyone with his story about arriving to America as a illegal immigrant from Mexico, going to college, being homeless, and succeeding through all the trouble he went through.”Luis Ortega’s speech was very eye opening.” said Alejandra Adame a current Dream Maker. “Unlike all your typical motivational speakers, Ortega’s presentation made everyone in the audience place there phone down and listen.”. “The things he said made the whole conference feel sympathy for others and it created a connection to the ones around each other. It was great!” Adame stated.
After all The Dream Makers really did have a good time at the conference! “Each and every minute of it was worth my time” said Alyssa Garza. This truly was a great experience for the Dream Makers to learn and interact with other youth from across the state! The White Swan Dream Makers are eager to return to next year’s WA Prevention Summit and definitely had an outstanding time this year! Until next time I sign off by saying thank you and remember to live above the influence!
A picture of me (left) and Luis Ortega (right) at the @2016 WA Prevention Summit