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
Maybe you missed it this year (and we are so sorry for you if you did), but Summerfest is an annual health fair hosted by Ventura Unified School District and we had a BLAST coming out to talk, offer services and take pictures in our sweet photo booth. A large
Our very own Katherine Kasmir was featured in the Camarillo Acorn this month! Katherine's founding of Straight Up and Reality Parties for Parents has sparked (as it intends to) much discussion around youth drinking culture and the parental role in prevention. Check out this rundown!
Social host ordinance aims to deter
The title is pretty straight forward but it's an easy answer to a tough issue: Cyberbullying is a huge problem.
We routinely visit middle schools around the county to help students create prevention PSA's about topics they are passionate about - usually this involves alcohol, tobacco or substance abuse. Lately we
Fight the stigma and explore education, advocacy and issues in mental health this month with these websites.
Mentalhealth.gov is a full stop resource for all things mental health. From their home page:
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps
What is CHKS?
"The California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) is an anonymous, confidential survey of youth resiliency, protective factors, and risk behaviors. It is administered to students at grades five, seven, nine, and eleven. It enables schools and communities to collect and analyze data regarding local youth health risks and behaviors,