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
*This post was written by a Ventura County young adult who has chosen to remain anonymous.
Have you ever felt so sick and hopeless that no one could help you? You look around and it doesn’t seem like its real. It feels like you are in a movie and you are
Este evento ha sido pospuesto debido a los incendios - las fechas de enero serán determinadas y anunciadas
Sábado, 9 de diciembre de 2017 – Oxnard, CA (Español)
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*This post was written by Ventura County young adult, Hannah Yale
When I was in elementary school, Red Ribbon Week was my favorite part of the school year. It was a time when you could wear your pajamas to school, and teachers passed out free jelly bracelets that read, “Say NO
*This post was written by Foothill Technology High School sophomore, Hannah Yale.
Mental illness, although it is a subject that requires more attention, should not be the punchline of a person’s jokes or a casual adjective used to describe and make fun of someone’s quirkiness. Awareness and trivialization are not the
Many adults feel drinking and drug use is a rite of passage. They assume teen parties are the same as when they were young. Straight Up youth want parents to face the current realities of today's "out of control" teen parties – competitive drinking games, fights, random hookups, and even