Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more


Straight Up is a Ventura County, CA youth development project for ages 12-25. Our goal is to change social norms that encourage, accept and allow underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, prescription drug and marijuana use, and to reduce the problems and tragedies that result from these dangerous activities.

  • Nonmedical use of prescription opioids by teens remains high, and a new study shows that 7 out of 10 teens combine opioids with other drugs and/or alcohol. This puts teens at a much greater risk of accidental overdose.

These serious issues are not just concerns for a few “troubled” youth and their parents. They affect all of us, and it will take our community working together for things to change. Using improvisation and interactive techniques, Straight Up engages discussion, explores issues, and develops personal and community solutions to these issues.

Straight Up is made possible through funding from Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, Alcohol and Drug Programs.

Youth Advocacy Programs

Young people have the capacity, the energy, and the right to be advocates for life issues that affect them. When you engage youth in authentic ways, you offer them opportunities to build skills, increase knowledge, and have leadership experiences that can influence their future choices – and allow them to become successful, empowered adults. Youth thrive when they have a personal connection with a project. They can exert major influence over their peers, and often reach out to mentor younger kids, as well.

Service Learning Opportunities – Need to implement projects in your school to engage youth in advocacy and action? Straight Up can bring a variety of programs into your classrooms – tailored to meet your specific grant requirements. We can also connect you with community partners to help change attitudes, perceptions and policies about drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc.

Volunteering/Community Service Opportunities – Need community service hours? Or just feel passionate about an issue? Participate in fun, meaningful projects that make a difference in your community, such as creating educational videos, blogging, volunteering at events, organizing school prevention fairs, or developing a presentation for a community group.

Reality Parties for Parents

At Reality Parties, parents tour a home set up as a teen drinking party, with youth actors portraying common party activities and voicing concerns expressed by local teens and young adults. Click here more information about Reality Parties for Parents.





Interactive Workshops

We “just say no” to lectures and passive learning. Our improv games and humor create a fun environment for active learning and involved discussions about the real issues teens face concerning alcohol and drugs. These powerful workshops can be tailored for your specific group – students, parents, teachers, PTAs, or any community organization.