NEW BRITAIN – The Local Prevention Council has a lot in store this summer for the youth in the community.
Tyshaunda Wiley, prevention coordinator of the New Britain Local Prevention Council, spoke about the Summer Youth Leadership Employment Program during the group’s virtual meeting Tuesday.
“I’m really excited about this program; we are going to be able to partner with HRA and OIC to get some students to work alongside our youth leadership counsel students to work over the summer,” Wiley said.
These students will be getting more work and responsibilities, and getting paid.
“There will be a lot of opportunities for the kids to learn what we do in our office and what we do in the prevention world and so forth,” Wiley said. “Mallory (Deprey), Omar (McDew) and I will be working with nine kids this summer for a total of about five weeks. They’ll even be with us on Wednesdays when we table at Walnut Hill for the concerts.”
Deprey, director community services office, said a few departments in City Hall are looking forward to having the students come shadow their offices.
“We’re excited to bring some kids into City Hall,” Deprey said. “Local prevention will be their main focus as youth ambassadors, but they will have the experience in floating through some of the offices and seeing what they have to do.”
Youth Leadership Council members and the Summer Youth Employment students will also be facilitating focus groups at different local agencies this summer. Helping them gain skills in facilitating focus groups and presentations.
“Pathways, HRA, YWCA and OIC all opened up their facilities for us to go in and do focus groups and a one day presentation with their summer kids so that’s amazing,” Wiley said.
McDew, from the Youth Leadership Council, and Emily Rosenthal, from the Sustainability Committee, gave their Subcommittee Reports updating the members on how they are doing, what has been done and future plans.
“The Youth Leadership Council is ticking right along,” said Omar McDew, Youth Advocate for the City of New Britain.
“Probably around Memorial Day, Ty, myself and one of our Youth Leadership Council members participated in a podcast called Community Talk Podcast and it focused on alcohol prevention and kind of the preventive work we’ve been doing throughout but specifically what we did last year with the money that we received from them during prevention week,” said McDew, youth advocate for the city.
“Only three communities in the nation were selected to be in this podcast,” Deprey added. “So we were one of three nationwide – that’s a pretty big deal.”
The Youth Leadership Council also held their Prevention Palooza event back in May.
“The kids also put together a little Snickers bar giveaway for the graduating seniors in New Britain High for their all night grad party with our messaging on it, reminding them not to drink and drive and not to drink alcohol and use marijuana as a whole,” McDew said.
The students made about 400 of them.
“You know the Snickers saying ‘you’re not yourself when you’re hungry?’ The kids came up with ‘you’re not yourself when you’re using drugs or alcohol.’ I thought that was cute,” Wiley said.
The Youth Leadership Council is looking for two middle school members to fill the spots of the recent members that have graduated and will be going to high school.
The Sustainability Committee also meets quarterly and “we always have a really great discussion,” said Emily Rosenthal from the committee.
Even though a small number of students admit to substance use, the Sustainability Committee wants to dive a little deeper into what is prompting the use.
“We’re thinking of ways the council can bring it up in a way that feels comfortable for folks,” Rosenthal said.
There will be two future events on the horizon for the city’s youth.
“We’re having two youth carnivals this summer, one of them is going to be on July 30 and the other on August 27,” Wiley said.
The first youth carnival will be in partnership with New Britain Police Department for its Midnight Basketball event.
“It gives those youth that don’t necessarily play basketball something they can do,” Wiley said.
The second youth carnival will be a Back-To-School event.
“It will be similar to July’s carnival event but bigger with vending opportunities,” Wiley said. “We’re partnering with the Police Department and YWCA and we’re looking for partnerships with financial responsibility of course.”
The Local Prevention Council will also be partnering with New Life Recovery for the month of July for Community Resource Event Series: Parents Raising Drug Free Children. It is a training series to assist parents in the work they do in raising their families. The three trainings will be Narcan Administration, Language Matters, Harm Reduction and Emotional Distress.