Monadnock Youth Coalition June Updates
The monthly update about Monadnock Youth Coalition for the month of June
Since our last update in the month of May the Monadnock Youth Coalition has accomplished and experienced a great deal. We started off the month with the goal of accomplishing the TobaccoFreeKids course from TobaccoFreeKids.com. Our hope with this course was that we could begin building the foundation of our work with tobacco prevention by teaching our youth the ins and outs of the tobacco industry. This course was eye opening to our youth. It spoke to the targeting of specific minorities as well as children. Our next steps in tobacco prevention include working alongside Dover Youth 2 Youth to learn how to give effective presentations to students about the dangers of tobacco. We hope to give our first presentation in the 2020-21 school year to middle school students.
Within our youth group we started to frame the infrastructure and decide what positions were helpful and which were unneeded. We fell upon these three positions to start: coordinator, media specialist, and recruiter. The coordinator has the opportunity to research relevant news or even write an article that can be posted to our website. Different youth members have approached this position in different ways. We hope to see a motivated youth eventually take on the task of writing an article themselves.
The media specialist has the ability to take complete control over social media or generate a post for our coalition coordinator to post. The posts that youth have come up with have been amazing. It is exciting to see youth becoming more engaged with our coalition. Here are some of the posts that youth have made over the past month:
Our first Instagram Takeover happened on July 7th. Our motivated youth group member Stella took over the instagram for the day and posted the above picture in blue that says “Things to do while in quarantine.” With Instagram in mind it is also important to mention that our follower base rose to 91. Our Facebook also continues to grow with more and more adults joining and liking the page. Through our Facebook we try to focus more on what adults and parents may want to see. Likewise we try to focus Instagram on teens and youth.
This progress with our youth group has been tremendous and we have so many people to thank for it. Demitria Kirby, a member of our adult coalition has been attending meetings and working with us to grow our group even more. Joe Heslin also joined one of our meetings to have a discussion with our youth about “The Youth Perspective.” Some of the questions he discussed with our youth included:
- What most makes you happy and what stresses you out the most these days?
- Do you have any friends who drink or smoke pot? Why do you think they do?
- Do you remember any anti-drug/drinking messages at all? Which ones and were they good? If good, what made them “good”?
- What do adults understand the LEAST about being a young person these days?
- If you had a single message that every young person could hear, what would it be?
- If you had a single message for every adult/parent about young people, what would it be?
It was inspiring to hear our youth give insightful and thoughtful perspectives on these questions. When answering the last question the general theme of advice they had to give was to “be yourself.”
Matthew Sebert also generously offered to speak with our youth about technology related jobs in the future. He brought the perspective that it is ok to pursue your passion and try to make a job in the arts work for your life. With so many of our youth being passionate about art, video games, and coding it was inspirational to hear him talk to them.
Our coalition also had the opportunity to be heard in the local newspaper The Sentinel. Our director Peter Sebert spoke out and gave his opinion on vaping and the issues it can cause. This article was written after the state’s newly amended Indoor Smoking Act. Peter Sebert was quoted in saying this, “We are hopefully starting to change the ‘social norm’ or acceptance for using these products from something that is OK, and that our children see people doing on a regular basis, to something that is not healthy and less accepted by our community,” Sebert said.Those interested can learn about the state’s QuitNow-NH program at www.quitnownh.org or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
With all this hard work that our youth group had been doing we had to give them a break and provide some fun! We hosted a Netflix Party movie night where we watched the favorite Shark Boy vs. Lava Girl. We hosted a scavenger hunt on Main Street where youth had to practice social distancing, wear masks, and use clues to find slips of paper in order to win a prize. The prize is called The Saturday Night Special which includes 3 family friendly movies, tons of candy, and popcorn! This Thursday we are hosting our first public gathering since March. We plan to hike at Robinhood Park practicing social distancing and mask wearing. Finally over the past month we also gained two new members. It has been an amazing month. We hope that July will be just as fun and exciting!
We hope you found this article helpful
This article was written by Meghan Marcucci the Coalition Coordinator for the Monadnock Youth Coalition.
For questions of comments please reach out to Meghan at [email protected]
Monadnock Youth Coalition hosts a youth group that runs every Thursday at 4pm. Currently these meetings are all being held over Zoom. This youth group discusses prevention of alcohol and tobacco use to ages 12-17. If you or your teen feel that this youth group would be a good fit for you, email Meghan at [email protected]
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook under the same handle: @MonadnockYouthCoalition