Live Well San Diego partner, Mental Health Systems-North Inland Community Prevention (NICP) teamed up with Joe Eberstein, program manager of the County of San Diego's Marijuana Prevention Initiative; Salvador Garcia, youth development assistant with San Diego County Office of Education's Friday Night Live program; Bill Perno, a prevention specialist with SAY San Diego (a County of San Diego prevention provider); and James Wallace, founder and program director of Mind Body & Soul Concepts, to hold a Youth Advocacy Leadership Event (Y.A.L.E.). The event took place on June 23, 2016 at the Fallbrook Public Utilities District.
The event was hosted by the Fallbrook Youth Advocacy Coalition with the assistance of San Marcos and Escondido Youth Advocacy Coalitions, all of which NICP sponsors and oversees. The one-day leadership and advocacy training program was designed to provide youth within the Fallbrook Healthcare District with education on and skill-sets for alcohol and drug prevention. Their goal is to help youth become leaders that bring awareness to their peers regarding the dangers of alcohol and other drugs. NICP works with these students to brainstorm ideas on how to prevent alcohol use, drug abuse, and addiction amongst youth.
Two dozen middle school, high school and college-aged youth participated. The event featured informative and inspiring speakers as well as exercises designed to help the youth understand their own power to affect change, encourage them to challenge themselves, and help them overcome their own mental barriers so they can become leaders. The event produced a social media campaign that the Youth Advocacy Coalition plans to use on its Facebook page and their other social media platforms. Several Y.A.L.E. participants expressed interest in becoming Fallbrook Youth Advocacy Coalition members.