Engaging Youth in Prevention Advocacy
Straight Up is a Ventura County, California youth development project for ages 12-25 that promotes social change regarding underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, HIV/AIDS prevention, and other concerns using improvisation and interactive techniques to engage discussion, explore issues, and develop personal and community solutions to these issues.
Straight Up is made possible through funding from Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, Alcohol and Drug Programs.
Our activities include:
- A range of options for interactive classroom workshops
- Youth leadership development and spokesperson training
- Reality Parties for Parents – After seeing teen actors portray scenes from a simulated drinking party and voice their concerns about trends in youth alcohol use, parents explore what adults can do to make a difference and keep their kids safe
- Community assessments – Identifying problems & potential solutions
- Guidance and support for planning & implementing your own prevention projects
- Training in Reality Improv and social change theatre techniques
- Video production – Webcasts & public service announcements
- Community discussion through the Straight Up blog
- Straight Up audio podcast
May 2015: Community Partner Award for Outstanding Partnership, Center for Community Engagement, Cal State University, Channel Islands
September 2012: Winner of CAPS-TV Cappie Award for “Be the DD Recruitment Video”
January 2011: Certificate of Appreciation from The Links, Incorporated (Channel Islands Chapter) for participation in the Youth Summit at CLU
October 2010: Certification of Recognition from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for participation in the 2010 Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking Prevention
April 2010: Palmer Drug Abuse Program honor
April 2010: Certificate of recognition and congratulation from the Mayor and City Council of the City of San Buenaventura
June 2009: Certificate of Appreciation from the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department’s Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board
March 2009: Honorary Service Award from California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students, Inc. (PTA)
March 2009: Certificates of acknowledgment from several members of the U.S. House of Representatives and California’s Senate and Legislature Assembly
Blog, Events and Social Media
As easy as it is to isolate ourselves and feel walled off from the world, we are social creatures. A pet is a rewarding and low-pressure way to nip that tendency in the rear. They not only breed a sense of community with other pet owners and animal lovers, they
Muchos adultos sienten que las bebidas y las fiestas son un rito de edad. Asumen que las fiestas de los adolescentes son iguales a las de ellos cuando eran jóvenes. Los jóvenes de Straight Up quieren que los padres se enfrenten a las realidades actuales de las fiestas de adolescentes,
It has always seemed to me an obvious sort of common sense that you shouldn't impair your cognitive functions and then operate heavy machinery. As it turns out, either this line of thinking is not so prevalent, or the knee jerk reflex to defend marijuana, irrelevant of the situation at
Here at Straight Up, we advocate for a lot of things but especially mental health and well-being. Mind and body go hand in hand and it's important not to neglect either. You've likely made your New Years resolutions by now but if you're still on the hunt, look no further!
*One of our CSUCI service learning volunteers, Stephanie Berrellez, attended a TAY Tunnel Discussion panel on November 20th. These are her thoughts.
TAY Tunnel presented an opportunity to discuss many tribulations that members of the organization are affected by. Sexualization, heteronormativity, gender discrimination, and false imprisonment among African Americans are topics