Community Change Projects: 

Community change employs innovative and grassroots methods to positively impact individuals, families and communities. Since 2011, the YLC has dedicated over 30,000 hours of community engagement in an effort to help make Licking County a happy, healthy, safe and drug free place to live, work and go to school.

Prevention Education 

You Are Not Alone: The YLC developed two presentations for elementary and middle school students about the harmful effects of bullying and presented them at Stevenson Elementary and Heath Middle Schools. [YLC, Cycle 8]

#Everybody Knows: Through social media, the YLC promoted safe, healthy relationship and helped to break the stigma surrounding domestic violence. [YLC, Cycle 8]

Respect Affection: In response to unhealthy relationships, the YLC developed a 45 minute presentation and delivered it to the eighth graders at Northridge Middle School. [YLC, Cycle 8]

Mental Soundness: To address that seven of the 12 high school in Licking County were dealing with issues around mental health, the YLC created a social media campaign to speak to mental wellness and promote resources across the county to help people living with mental illness. [YLC, Cycle 8]

#removetheretouch: In an effort to promote body positive attitudes, the YLC hosted a social media campaign to promote positive self-esteem, self-worth, and self-value. [YLC, Cycle 8]

Numbers Are Nothing: An eating disorder awareness campaign, the YLC placed posters across area high schools to help educate on the impacts of the disease and how a person can get help and support. [YLC, Cycle 8]

Words Matter: With the Words Matter campaign, the YLC helped middle school students better understand that what they say to people impacts the community. [YLC, Cycle 8]

More Than Sad: With a social awareness campaign, the YLC placed two posters in each of the 12 high schools across Licking County outlining the impact of mental illness and how to get help. [YLC, Cycle 8]

Save Lives, Just Drive: In an effort to inform high school students of the dangers of distracted driving, the YLC created and disseminated a video on the major issues associated with distracted driving. You can view the final video, here. [YLC, Cycle 8] 

#PornHurtsToo: The YLC developed a social awareness campaign to address the growing concerns regarding watching pornography. In the #PornHurtsToo campaign, YLC members disseminated information from the APA and other credible sources on the negative impacts porn consumption has on individuals and communities. [YLC Cycle 8] 

Bears for Cares: In an effort to increase happiness, YLC members organized a donation drive in local elementary schools and donated over 200 teddy bears to foster children at House of New Hope. [YLC Cycle 7] 

BBBS for the UNIQUE: To promote diversity and inclusion, the YLC spent two days with students in the mental health unit at Licking Valley Local Schools. Serving as mentors, members promoted prevention science, played games, and supported educational activities with students. [YLC Cycle 7]

Operation Semicolon: YLC members placed 7,046 semicolon cards with positive affirmations and preventative resources on the desks of high school students across Licking County to bring awareness to suicide and promote seeking help for mental illness and suicidal thoughts, feelings and attempts. [YLC Cycle 7]

Prevent a Frown, Create a Smile: To combat the impacts of suicide, YLC presented a suicide prevention presentation to students at Johnstown Monroe High School and sold wristbands to bring awareness of mental illness and suicide. [YLC Cycle 7]

Be Happy, Be YOU!: To help the fourth graders at Licking Valley Intermediate better understand the Venture Youth to Youth program, YLC members spent a day giving them a glimpse of what’s to come complete with prevention education workshops, energizers and large group activities. [YLC Cycle 7]

Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign: To help people better understand the full effects of human trafficking, the YLC produced two different poster campaigns which were placed in more than 50 different businesses across the county. [YLC Cycle 7]

Little Things Challenge: In an effort to promote and encourage positive self-esteem and self-value, the YLC hosted the Little Things Challenge by creating and distributing a check list of things a person could do to boost his/her own self-value and promote positive self-esteem in others. [YLC Cycle 6]

#HeyFreshman: In an effort to help incoming freshman feel welcome, comfortable and confident, the YLC hosted a project entitled #HeyFreshman where they personally got to know a freshman and helped them to feel happy, safe and comfortable at school. [YLC Cycle 6]

Save the Day: To help teachers, educators and administrators best understand the harmful effects of tobacco, the YLC researched, developed and distributed more than 30 superhero-themed toolkits to elementary schools across Licking County. [YLC Cycle 6]

Food for Thought: YLC helped people understand the stress of not having food. Through a combined social media and fundraising experience, YLC promoted food security and brought awareness to help end hunger in Licking County. [YLC Cycle 6]

Empty Bowls:The YLC partnered with local businesses and school districts to promote social services in Licking County. Over 150 community members participated and $800 was raised in support of LEADS Community Action Agency. [YLC Cycle 6]

NEDA (National Eating Disorder Awareness) Sizing: The YLC met with executives of major clothing brands to promote healthy body image messaging and help them understand issues associated with clothing sizing for individuals who experience eating disorders. [YLC Cycle 6]

Start with HELLO: Mental illness, bullying and social isolation can all lead to suicide or gun violence. To bring awareness to the epidemic, the YLC used the Start with Hello program from Sandy Hook Promise and did presentations to elementary school children across the county. [YLC Cycles 6 and 7]

#Don’tStressAboutStress: YLC members hosted a social awareness campaign to help reduce stress through social media and encourage activities like yoga which is scientifically proven to reduce stress and promote resistance and coping skills. [YLC Cycle 6]

Run, Run Reindeer 5K: Over 250 people walked/ran in a  5K Walk/Run organized by the YLC to bring awareness to issues related to childhood hunger and helped raise nearly $12,000 to benefit the Health Kids Network at the Licking County Family YMCA [YLC Cycles 6 and 7]

Pals for Pups: The YLC partnered with the Licking County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center to promote the idea that owning a pet promotes positive mental health and that safe dog adoption is important. [YLC Cycle 6]

Insecurity Outreach: The YLC designed and coordinated a campaign at Johnstown-Monroe High School to boost self-worth and confidence in students. 146 students participated in the process and promoted their strengths versus highlighting their weaknesses [YLC Cycle 6]

You’re Worth It: In an effort to curb bullying, the YLC created a video that encourages positive self-esteem, community resources and how to be an upstander instead of a bystander, we call it “You’re Worth It.” [YLC Cycle 5]

Inside Out: YLC members informed the community about exactly how tobacco use impact the health and welfare of the user in a social awareness campaign we call Inside Out! [YLC Cycle 5]

Town Hall Meeting on Teen Mental Health: YLC hosted a Town Hall meeting on the state of teenage mental health. Complete with a panel of experts and covering topics including substance use, suicide, self-harm and mental wellness. [YLC Cycle 5]

Anti-E: Hoping to educate the community about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, the YLC partnered with the Licking County Health Department and produced a poster campaign that went to schools, businesses and community locations across Licking County.  [YLC Cycle 5]

Eating Disorder Awareness: To bring awareness to eating disorders and how they impact people and communities the YLC designed a campaign and distributed over 100 posters to area middle schools promoting good mental health and resources to aid in addressing eating disorders. [YLC Cycle 5]

Town Hall Meeting on Human Trafficking: To bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking, the YLC hosted an evening for over 100 people to learn about what human trafficking is and how you can help prevent it. [YLC Cycle 5]

#LikeAGirl: In a social awareness campaign, the Youth Leadership Council promoted the idea that doing something, anything “like a girl” was not a put down but more so a compliment. YLC Reps. posted pictures on social media of them doing activities and explaining why doing it “like a girl” was a good thing. We received over 6,000 likes, retweets and regrams since the start of the campaign. [YLC Cycle 5]

#WordsHavePower: The YLC created presentations, hosted pledge drives and promoted the idea that words have the power to uplift, encourage and heal during National Bullying Prevention Month (October). Students in Southwest Licking Local Schools and Johnstown-Monroe Schools promoted the anti-bullying message through blue rubber bracelets and pledges committing to use words positively. [YLC Cycle 5]

SuicideHearts: YLC members designed a project intended on encouraging people to understand their value and worth and promote positive self-image and promote the idea that there is help available if you are thinking about, feeling or contemplating suicide. 8,600 paper hearts with positive messages and community resource information were placed on the desks of high school students across Licking County. [YLC Cycle 5]

#MentalHealthIsManly: Through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, YLC members promoted the idea that being mentally healthy was a good thing and helped to breakdown the stigma associated with men seeking counseling, therapy or support to cope with life’s ups and downs. [YLC Cycle 5]

Check YES: To help people understand that what they post on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) has value, good or bad, the YLC produced Check YES, a project designed to help people understand that their posts mean something to family, friends, employers and college admissions reps. [YLC Cycle 4]

Feel Goods:
In an effort to bolster positive self-esteem, Youth Leadership Council members created and distributed 1,000 business card size cards with positive affirmations on them to children, youth and adults across the state in a project we called, Feel Goods! [YLC Cycles 4 and 5]

#StashtheCrash: Members of the Youth Leadership Council hosted a county-wide anti-distracted driving campaign called Stash the Crash designed to educate and inform high school students on the dangers of distracted driving and the impacts it has on a community.  [YLC Cycle 4]

Parents & Prevention II: Complete with subject-matter experts, free childcare, comfy chairs and and informative presentation, the YLC hosted a town hall meeting on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and the dangers of alcohol consumption for expectant parents. [YLC Cycle 4]

Month of Happiness: The YLC partnered with several schools across Licking County who participated in multiple activities during the month of March designed to increase self-esteem and encourage happiness including a clothes pin activity meant to promote smiling. [YLC Cycle 4]

Shatter the Myths: Council members debunked common myths about substance use/abuse in a social awareness campaign which had the potential to reach more than 10,000 people called Shatter the Myths! [YLC Cycle 4]

Semi-Colon Project: For National Suicide Survivors Day, the YLC hosted a social awareness campaign to bring awareness to mental illness, end stigma and prevent suicide by encouraging people to draw a semi-colon on their wrist and post a picture of it on social media. In the English language, the semi-colon represents the continuation of a story and the YLC was encouraging people to “move past a traumatic experience and continue your story.” [YLC Cycle 4]

Heels for Hope Walk:
To bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence, the YLC produced and hosted an event and fundraiser designed to bring awareness to violence against women and support New Beginnings Shelter and Services, a local domestic violence shelter in Licking County. 117 community members participate in the walk and $1500 was raised for the cause. [YLC Cycle 4]

Folded Compassion: In partnerships with area high schools, the Youth Leadership Council produced an information campaign designed to educate high school students about the dangers of self-harm. Through “stall scrolls” in high school bathrooms, students were provided with information on how to get help if they or someone they knew were engaging in self-harm behaviors. [YLC Cycle 4]

Youth-Led Prevention PSA Contest: For producing Public Service Announcements about prescription drug abuse living a drug-free lifestyle, and preventing marijuana use, the YLC was named the inaugural winners in 2011 and received honorable mention in 2012 and 2014  in the state-wide contest sponsored by the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). [YLC Cycles 1-3]

National Teen Driver Safety Week: This multi-cycle project has included numerous activities designed for high school students including PSAs, seat belt safety checks and prevention campaigns to encourage safe driving habits and prevent distracted driving behaviors like texting, drunk driving and ensuring that young people wear their seat belts. [YLC Cycles 2-5]

Joy In Our Town: The Youth Leadership Council was featured on the nationally televised talk show Joy in Our Town. YLC project staff and youth leaders discussed youth substance use and how youth-led prevention addresses the issue. [YLC Cycle 1]

Prevention Marquee Project: To inform the community that the majority (70%) of Licking County’s youth do not engage in negative decisions or unhealthy behaviors like violence, bullying and the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, the Youth Leadership Council partnered with area businesses to promote positive prevention messages through the use of their marquees. 13 local businesses signed on to promote positive prevention throughout Licking County. [YLC Cycles 2 and 3]

Suicide Awareness Walk & Candlelight Vigil: The YLC co-sponsored this annual awareness event. Members organized memorial events and established the annual balloon launch. [YLC Cycles 1-5]

Kick BUTTS Day: During Cycle 2, Council members presented a tobacco prevention presentation to middle school students in partnership with Licking Memorial Hospital‘s Tobacco Cessation program. Cycle 3, the YLC received a mini-grant from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and produced an educational curriculum for elementary school teachers and youth advocates, recorded radio PSAs and distributed over 1500 brochures to various communities throughout Licking County to promote tobacco use prevention and cessation services. [YLC Cycles 2 and 3]

Prevention Education Presentations: The YLC has presented educational presentations in area elementary, middle and high school classrooms covering topics including bullying, suicide, alcohol abuse, tobacco use, and drug addiction and had conversations on prescription drug misuse and abuse through the pHARMING Effects presentation. [YLC Cycles 1-6]

Anti-Bullying Campaigns: The YLC has produced multiple projects geared toward educating the community about being and “UPstander” to bullying and eliminating bullying in schools. 28 anti-bullying posters were distributed to every county middle school in an effort to inform middle school students about resources available to help address bullying. In addition, over 300 anti-bullying bookmarks were disseminated to 13 different public and school libraries and prevention education presentations were completed in various locations throughout Licking County including the Licking County Library. [YLC Cycles 1-6]

Share the Love:  In partnership with the Licking County Suicide Prevention Coalition and Mental Health America of Licking County, the Youth Leadership Council participated in suicide awareness events aimed at helping the community understand that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and that there are resources and help available to everyone who may be feeling suicidal. [YLC Cycles 1-5]

Warm Fuzzy Week: More than 250 warm fuzzy messages (comments designed to boost one’s self-esteem) were delivered across Licking County the week of February 24-28th. [YLC Cycle 3]

Kickin’ ASH Splash: To help Licking County understand the dangers of tobacco addiction, the YLC has partnered with the Licking County Health Department for the past five years and provided prevention education and drug-free fun activities at the annual tobacco prevention event at the Heath City Water Park. [YLC Cycles 1-7]

FLAWSOME (Flawed + Awesome): YLC members created and produced a social awareness campaign designed to promote positive self-esteem by accepting and embracing their flaws and helping their peers to understand that they are perfect just by being who they are, they’re FLAWSOME! [YLC Cycles 3 -7]

Civic Engagement

Focus Group Participation: Members of the Youth Leadership Council have served as participants in various focus groups covering topics including: problem gambling prevention, participation in youth-led programming and evaluating OHYES, the Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey.  [YLC Cycles 3 and 4]

Ohio Prevention & Education Conference (OPEC): Members of the Youth Leadership Council presented workshops on effective youth-led prevention at OPEC, the oldest annual conference for prevention and education professionals in Ohio. [YLC Cycle 1]

iP.R.O.M. (I Promise to Return On Monday): The YLC created a multifaceted week-long campaign promoting a safe, happy, drug-free prom night. In partnership with local flower, tux, and beauty shops, juniors and seniors received positive prevention cards when preparing for prom night. In addition members of the YLC created the social awareness campaign, Tag It! using social media sites to promote positive prevention messages for their peers. Finally, the day before prom 30 people in 10 of the 12 high schools (20 adults and 10 students) were outfitted with Operation P.R.O.M. (promise to return on Monday) t-shirts to promote the idea that every student was requested to return from prom night safely, happy and healthy by their teachers and friends. [YLC Cycles 2-5]

Statewide Prevention Coalition Association (SPCA): The Youth Leadership Council was invited to present to the Statewide Prevention Coalition Association (SPCA) on prevention and how youth-led prevention can positively impact prevention coalitions across Ohio. [YLC Cycle 4.]

Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio (ADAPAO): The YLC presented a workshop on prescription drug abuse at the annual conference. [YLC Cycle 4]

Ohio School Nurses Conference: Youth Leadership Council members served as the closing keynote address on how school nurses could assist students, parents and families in regards to prescription drug misuse and abuse.
[YLC Cycle 3]

School Policy Review: The Youth Leadership Council conducted an extensive review of the substance use and violence policies for 12 Licking County high schools. To asses the strength and validity of the policies; the YLC focused more than 100 hours of time reading and analyzing current policies then met with school administrators to applaud their findings and/or suggest improvements. [YLC Cycles 2 and 3]

Licking County School Administrator’s Conference: The YLC presented a workshop at the annual conference for school administrators on how youth-led prevention could benefit school districts, buildings and most importantly, students. [YLC Cycle 3]

National Drug Take Back Day: The Youth Leadership Council has partnered with the Licking County Prevention Partnership to host the National Drug Take Back Day in Licking County; collecting over 250 pounds of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications and helping to make Licking County safer. [YLC Cycles 1-6]

Environmental Prevention Campaigns: In an attempt to improve the overall health of Licking County, The Youth Leadership Council has petitioned local governing bodies to strengthen their policies and ordinances which limit or eliminate substance use including successfully advocating for the Licking County Commissioners to sign a resolution to eliminate tobacco use on all county-wide property which was unanimously passed on August 17, 2012. [YLC Cycle 1]

OYLPN Legislative Day: Youth Leadership Council members joined other youth-led leaders from across Ohio for the Ohio Youth-led Prevention Network’s Legislative Day at the Ohio Statehouse. YLC members held meetings with elected officials to discuss the importance and value of youth-led prevention and how state lawmakers can partner with Ohio’s young leaders to positively impact the state. [YLC Cycles 1-4]

Ohio Youth-led Prevention Network’s “We Are the MAJORITY” Rally: Members of the Youth Leadership Council joined thousands of youth from across the state to intensify their voice and magnify the idea that the MAJORITY of youth in Ohio are strong leaders who do not use substances of abuse, participate in violence or bullying and value good mental health. [YLC Cycles 1-4]

Leadership Development

Modern Day History Project: To celebrate Black History month and to promote leadership and cultural competence, YLC used social media to inform the community of some outstanding modern day African American leaders. [YLC Cycle 5]

Licking County Leaders Summit:
 The YLC hosted a one-day leadership summit for area high school students and education professionals. Each of the twelve high schools in Licking County were invited to send teams of 22 (20 students and 2 staff) to the summit to build leadership skills and a better understanding of youth-led prevention. After the summit, team projects were implemented intended to positively impact the community. [YLC Cycles 4 -7]

Licking County stand Team: In partnership with the Licking County Health Department, the YLC mentored the Licking County stand Team, a group of middle school students dedicated to helping end tobacco use and dependence in Licking County. YLC members mentored, guided and supported the stand Team as they planned and implemented a Kick Ball Tournament for Kick BUTTS Day and created social media campaigns to promote anti-tobacco messages. In addition, YLC members wrote, developed and recorded radio PSAs which promote tobacco prevention and cessation services in Licking County. [YLC Cycles 3-5]

Freshman Focus Day: The Youth Leadership Council participates in Freshman Focus Day at Newark High School speaking to more than 400 incoming freshman about starting their high school career off as strong leaders and how they can make a positive impact in their community. [YLC Cycles 4 and 5]

Leadership Development Activities: The YLC has participated in over 10,000 hours of leadership development training, seminars, workshops and retreats to strengthen their understanding of youth-led prevention and build their personal leadership skills and abilities. [YLC Cycles 1-6]

Poster Effectiveness Project: The YLC developed an evaluation process to analyze and assess the effectiveness of our poster campaigns in area middle and high schools. Surveys were randomly distributed to students in participating buildings and data was collected to prove that the posters being placed in the buildings were benefiting the students. [YLC Cycle 4]

Alternative Activities: Hosting gatherings free from substance use and violent behaviors is just one of the ways the YLC spends their time. Events like retreats, parties and activities happen all the time to promote the group and the idea that you can have FUN without using drugs, drinking or being violent. [YLC Cycles 1-6]

Community Service:

Y HELP C: YLC members volunteered to serve food to more than 100 people at the weekly Monday night community meal hosted by the Look Up Center. [YLC Cycle 7]

Warming Hearts: To help the children of victims of domestic violence as their parent transitions out of the violent situation, the YLC donated 25 tie blankets to New Beginnings Shelter & Services. [YLC Cycle 7]

YLSea: To best understand how people are polluting the world’s water, the YLC designed a public awareness campaign bringing awareness to how to help keep the oceans, lakes and waterways clean and healthy. [YLC Cycle 6].

Hearts for the Homeless: The YLC organized a county-wide collection of personal care items, gently used winter coats, gloves and scarves and other needed items to be donated to the participants at the Licking County Coalition of Housing. [YLC Cycle 6].

Healthy Halloween: YLC members hosted a healthy Halloween party for participants from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Licking and Perry Counties complete with activities, snacks and information on how to make the holiday, healthy! [YLC Cycle 6].

Help for the Homeless: YLC members provided more than 100 donated toiletries and helped clean up and organize the loan closet for the Licking County Coalition for Housing. [YLC Cycle 5]

Ask YLC: To help high school students with some of those tough questions, YLC used their Twitter account to answer questions from the county about drugs, violence and pretty much everything else. [YLC Cycle 6]

Beechwood Trails Pool Clean Up: With landscaping, debris removal and beautification, YLC members helped to refurbish the Beechwood Trails community pool in Pataskala Ohio helping to make the summer a little more bearable for residents in western Licking County . [YLC Cycle 5]

Bowl for Kids Sake: In an effort to bring attention to the positive benefits of mentoring and how good mentors help shape the lives of youth, YLC members donated $2156 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Licking & Perry Counties during their annual fundraiser. [YLC Cycle 5]

Operation FEED: To support the Food Pantry Network of Central Ohio, members of the YLC designed an elementary school competition and collected more than 100 pounds of food to help supply the county’s food pantries. [YLC Cycle 5]

YMCA Bunny Brunch:
Members of the YLC helped staff the Licking County Family YMCA’s annual Bunny Brunch to help promote family togetherness and positive family time. [YLC Cycle 5]

Think Twice: Four different recycling posters were designed and distributed across Licking County in an awareness campaign we call “Think Twice.” Speaking to the volume of food and electric waste as well as the benefits recycling has to our plant, posters were distributed to area high schools in hopes that the next generation will Think Twice about their waste. [YLC Cycle 5]

OPERATION Books for Kids: YLC collected 500 books and cash donations in an effort to bring a little bit of joy and help the patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital deal with their situations a little easier. [YLC Cycle 5]

MathSCAPE: YLC members designed a MathSCAPE (mathematic landscape) on the walking track at Ben Franklin Elementary School to promote learning and educational success. [YLC Cycle 5]

Relay for Life: Members of the YLC collected over $1200 for the City of Pataskala’s Relay for Life campaign, helping to support cancer research and bringing an end to the illness. [YLC Cycle 5]

Computers 101: YLC members traveled to the Licking County Aging Program to teach a class for Senior Citizens on social media and how they can stay connected to family, friends and grandchildren through Facebook. [YLC Cycle 4]

Socks of Love: YLC collected 1500 personal care items (shampoo, soap, razors, etc.) and donated them to the Licking County Coalition for Housing to help area residents who are homeless or housing deficient. [YLC Cycle 4]

Winter Wear Drive: To help take the chill off and ease the stress of winter, members of the Youth Leadership Council collected 335 new and gently used coats, hats, scarves, gloves and blankets and donated them to the Salvation Army homeless shelter. [YLC Cycle 4]

Shovel and Run: Members of the YLC gave back to their neighbors, friends and communities by shoveling sidewalks and driveways over the winter months in a project we called Shovel and Run [YLC cycle 4]

Etna Elementary Playground Refurbishment: To ensure that Licking County’s youngest assets are safe, the YLC helped the Etna Elementary School PTA upgrade the two playgrounds students use at school. [YLC Cycle 3]

YMCA Father/Daughter Dance: To highlight strong, healthy father-daughter relationships,  members of the YLC have volunteered at the annual Father/Daughter Dance hosted by the Licking County Family YMCA.  YLC members led activities, ran the silent auction and interacted with guests. [YLC Cycles 2-5]

Superhero Training Party: YLC helped with the annual Mother/Son Superhero Training Party hosted by the Licking County Family YMCA. Running activity stations and interacting with moms and sons in an effort to promote healthy mother-son relationships. [YLC Cycles 4-6]