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
In March 2011, teens in Ventura, CA gathered for a Leadership Summit to explore social issues and discuss their ideas for possible solutions for reducing underage and binge drinking and impaired driving in their community.
Sergio Arias and Camilo Alvear, both 23 and from Ventura, won second place in the "Say It Straight Up" video contest presented by Straight Up in 2011. They created "Bobby V," a sobering piece about a young woman and the consequences she suffered after driving under the influence.
Be the DD (Designated Driver) for your group and you could win great prizes throughout the summer in downtown Ventura!
Prize Posse members Brandon, Emily, Veronica, Talia, Jeff (crew leader), Kim (crew leader), Ernie, and Sergio
The Prize Posse will be hitting downtown on these Fridays: July 1, August 19, and September
It’s Wednesday night and I am getting ready to go out with my friends to a club in West Hollywood. I am the designated driver and 23 years old. The destination is to an 18-and-over club that I have never been to before.
Walking in is an amazing experience. The music
A look at Straight Up's yearly VUSD Leadership Training Summit, where high school students gather to interact, learn about advocacy, and strategize on ways to make change. This video is viewable on our YouTube channel, and is downloadable as a video podcast via iTunes.