Prevention Unit

Butte Youth Now Coalition

(BYNC) was initiated in response to the history of a county that has been a victim of underage and high risk drinking. The community’s response to alcohol related issues has taken an economic drain on city and county resources. Over the past three years Butte County Department of Behavioral Health has surveyed youth county wide. The results are in: young people are growing up in an environment filled with messages promoting alcohol use, that maintains social norms condoning underage drinking, and one that provides youth with relatively easy access to alcohol. Youth in Butte County have been mobilized to respond to the survey results through Friday Night Live and Club Live “Committed” chapters across the county. They have sought to change the environments that foster pro-use messages and make alcohol easily accessible. Community leaders have also responded by recommending policy and ongoing community change efforts.

Butte Youth Now was formed to help organize and support the efforts of the youth and community leader mobilization. The coalition seeks out proven prevention techniques to address the alcohol problem, employing Environmental Prevention as its key strategy. Environmental Prevention is defined as changing the setting and messages that both directly or indirectly make alcohol easy, appealing, attractive, and socially acceptable. The coalition uses the following four areas to organize and targets its efforts: norms, media messages, policy and enforcement, access/availability.

Visit the Butte Youth Now website for more information.

The Committed Program

The Committed Program Model blends youth development principles with innovative youth-led environmental prevention strategies and school climate initiatives. The Committed Program Model is designed to build leadership skills, broaden young peoples’ social network, and implement youth-led projects to improve school climate and reduce youth access to alcohol. The program organizes youth into clubs called Chapters that are comprised of Chapter officers/leaders and general members. Committed was initiated in response to the growing awareness of young people’s use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD), and to address youth’s reported feelings of loneliness, isolation, or disengagement at school.

The Committed Program Model includes 35 sessions that prepare youth for five major events or projects; with each session involving a youth led meeting agenda. The model is designed so that the Chapter experiences success and a sense of accomplishment, while remaining youth friendly and relevant to youth culture. The sessions and key events are structured to foster high expectations among youth and their adult partners. The following are the Committed Program Model’s goals:

  • Provide skill building to Chapter members in areas related to environmental prevention.
  • Decrease young people’s use and exposure to ATOD and violence.
  • Implement projects that are designed to elicit community or neighborhood-wide social, norm or policy change.
  • Engage young people in opportunities that provide a youth development framework that supports young people as change agents.
  • Implement projects (For example, anti-bullying and peer-to-peer and peer-to-teacher relationship enhancement) to address school climate.
  • Foster mental and emotional health and well-being.
  • Foster academic commitment and achievement.

Visit The Committed Program website for more information.

Impact Mentoring

Impact Mentoring is a peer mentoring program that matches high school role models with junior high school protégés in a cross-age mentoring experience. Mentors and protégés meet weekly in a supervised and structured mentoring session. During the session protégés set academic and personal goals and receive coaching from their mentors on ways to achieve those goals. This 24 week program lasts throughout the school year. 

Impact Mentoring serves middle school students and helps them gain skills to increase resiliency and protective factors, which foster positive mental and emotional health. The primary goals of Impact Mentoring are to:

  • Provide an environment rich in youth development supports and opportunities.
  • Decrease young peoples use and exposure to ATOD and violence.
  • Decrease isolation among middle school students and increase commitment to learning and school bonding.
  • Provide skill building in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, and peer relationships.
  • Foster positive mental and emotional health.

Visit their Impact Mentoring website for more information.

Athlete Committed

Building on the model program Life of an Athlete pioneered by John Underwood, Athlete Committed focuses on creating athlete, parent and coach commitments to creating positive, supporting environments free of bullying, harassment and substance use. It not only focuses on individual accountability, it incorporates principals to address “bystander” behaviors. Athlete Committed urges athletes to renew their commitment to excellence and commit to personal responsibility, team expectations and collective responsibility to never lose their focus or compromise their values.  The key components of Athlete Committed include:

  • Code of Conduct: A comprehensive code that includes character based expectations of student athletes, as well as clear consequences for any code violation.
  • Mandatory Parent/Athlete Code Meeting: All athletes along with their parent/guardian are required to attend the mandatory “code night” presentation. This ensures that all parents and athletes are well informed of the Code of Conduct, educated on critical areas such as chemical health (substance use), bullying/harassment, nutrition, sleep and training/recovery. This mandatory meeting is critical to the success of the program - providing the opportunity to train parents/guardians alongside their son/daughter.
  • Team Leaders: Identified team leaders help to ensure that teammates hold each other accountable to team expectation and goals. This includes choosing and building strong team leaders and creating a culture of high expectation among teammates.
  • Supportive Coaches: Coaches and administrators have an important role to play in dealing with substance abuse among their athletes. Athlete Committed coaches training helps to support coaches in the successful implementation of the model and in creating a team of excellence.

Visit their Athlete Committed website for more information.

Parent Committed

The Parent Committed campaign is about providing support to parents and families with teenagers. This campaign urges parents to renew their commitment as a parent and support their child through their journey into adulthood - when they are discovering and defining who they are. The greatest influence on a young person’s decision to drink alcohol is the world they live in. The number one protective factor against youth alcohol abuse is a strong parent-child relationship - a Parent Committed.  High School Committed Chapters organize and implement Parent Committed convenings each year - educating parents on the laws and liabilities associated with providing or purchasing alcohol or allow underage drinking in their home.

Visit their Parent Committed website for more information.

Merchant Committed Program

Middle School Committed Chapters develop and implement the Merchant Committed Program for off-sale and on-sale alcoholic beverage retailers (markets, stores, gas stations, bars, restaurants, and special event venues). The goal of this program is to reduce underage drinking and youth access to alcohol by increasing alcoholic beverage establishment compliance. The Merchant Committed program provides:

  • Education about the risks and liabilities of sales to underage patrons.
  • Tools to help ensure your establishment is compliant.
  • Information about the California Alcohol Beverage Control policies and state laws.
  • Recognition of your participation and commitment to reducing youth access to alcohol.
  • Networking with Butte Youth Now Coalition members representing diverse sectors of the community including law enforcement, media, health professionals, youth and parents.

Visit their Merchant Committed Program website for more information.

Strengthening Families Program

The (SFP) provides a comprehensive approach to increasing skills and knowledge for parents/guardians and children critical to healthy behaviors and relationships.  The SFP is a science based program with 14 sessions which increase life skills for parents/guardians, families and children. Culminating with a graduation for the parents/guardians and children who complete the program. Each session includes a family meal, skill session (where parents/guardians and children are separated but are receiving the same skills training) then a family activity (where the parents/guardians are brought back together). Research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has shown the more a family eats meals together the less likely the children of that family are to use and abuse substances. Each session includes the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s core components of effective evidence based parenting programs including: parent and child practice time in the family sessions learning positive interactions, communication, and effective discipline.

The parenting sessions review appropriate developmental expectations, teach parents to interact positively with children such as showing enthusiasm and attention for good behavior and letting the child take the lead in play activities, increasing attention and praise for positive children’s behaviors, positive family communication including: active listening, reducing criticism and sarcasm, family meetings to improve order and organization, and effective and consistent discipline including consequences and time-outs.

The children skills training content includes communication skills to improve parents, peers, and teacher relationships, hopes and dream resilience skills, problems solving, peer resistance, feeling identification, anger management and coping skills.

The family practice sessions allow the parents and children time to practice what they learned in their individual sessions in experiential exercises. This is also a time for the four group leaders to coach and encourage family members for improvements in parent/child interactions. The major skills to learn are: Child’s Game similar to therapeutic child play where the parent allows the child to determine the play or recreation activity, Family Meetings and effective communication exercises, and Parent Game or effective discipline. Home practice assignments improve generalization of new behaviors at home.

Visit their Strengthening Families Program website for more information.

Youth Nexus

Founded in 1999, Youth Nexus was the first youth philanthropy board in California. Youth philanthropy is the giving of time, talent, or money from youth to youth in the community. Youth Nexus chose its name to represent its meaning: "nexus” signifies a starting point that the council strives to be for youth change and advocacy in the community. Youth Nexus is a group of young people working as a team to represent and empower youth leaders. Youth Nexus partners with a local foundation to provide a mini-grant process and opportunity to local youth groups.  The council influences other young people to create positive change by funding youth-led community change projects aimed at reducing youth access to alcohol or improving school climate.  Since Youth Nexus began as the first youth philanthropy board in Northern California, it has provided opportunities for youth to help make decisions affecting other youth throughout Butte County. Youth Nexus creates opportunity among youth by:

  • Funding youth initiated projects
  • Nurturing youth-adult partnerships
  • Offering a youth perspective and voice to the community
  • Reducing youth access to alcohol and underage drinking

Visit their Youth Nexus website for more information.

Live Spot Youth Centers

The Live Spot Youth Centers are located in “easy to access” sites in Oroville and Gridley - serving junior high and high school age youth. The Live Spot provides a safe, stigma-free environment for youth to build relationships, gain skills and knowledge through daily scheduled activities and supportive services. Funded through the Mental Health Services Act Prevention and Early Intervention, the Live Spot delivers youth centered programming which fosters mental and emotional well-being and equips the youth participants to overcome challenges and reach their full potential. The Live Spot is a comprehensive youth program designed to build the skills and capacity of young people, provide opportunities for meaningful youth engagement and involvement in pro-social activities and reduce/prevent high risk behaviors.

The Live Spot provides a safe place for young people to go during the high risk after school hours to receive critical support services and to keep them safe during the high risk hours when family support/supervision is not available. In addition to on-site after school programs the Live Spot offers school based programs (FNL, CL and Impact Mentoring). Daily schedule includes: academic support, skill building activities that focus on fostering mental and emotional health, leadership and advocacy workshops, youth employment skills, youth empowerment and confidence sessions, and linkage to other supportive services. Family supportive services include Strengthening Families - providing the opportunity to serve the family as a whole through intensive weekly sessions.

Visit their Live Spot Youth Centers website for more information.

Large Conference Experiences

Reach for the Future

Two Reach for the Future youth conferences are provided each year - one for junior high students and one for high school youth. With over 300 youth from across California attending each conference, participants experience personal growth, self-awareness and confidence building in a diverse and dynamic setting. In addition, participants includes their skill and knowledge regarding critical youth issues and leave the conference mobilized and committed to make change in their school, community, and personal lives.

Youth Development Summit

The Youth Development Summit provides a unique opportunity to raise the awareness of youth access to alcohol, bullying and harassment and school climate through workshops, hands on community environmental prevention events, and the Community Leader World Café - partnering young people with key decision makers to discuss youth issues and create partnership for community/school change.

Visit their Large Conference Experiences website for more information.