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Proposal: Community Programs for the Youth

Throughout America we have tons of small towns, and in those small towns for the most part there is a lack of programs for the community's youth to participate in. When these towns do not have programs for the youths to get involved in the chances of them turning to drugs, drinking, and in some cases criminal activity raise.

The Issue

Problem Defined

In small town America there is not enough for the local youth to get involved in to keep them out of trouble. When there isn't enough for the local youth to do they will most likely turn to destructive activities such as drinking, drug use and even criminal activity.  

Background
Expand all bullets
1.
Interactions with gangsMORE

According to Kristen Thometz, a writer for WTTW News, “Some youth turned to gangs out of boredom. They were looking for fun and recreational opportunities, Had there been some recreational opportunities to keep them busy and away from the street at least some people may not have ended up in the gang.” (Thometz, 2017).

2.
Drinking and partyingMORE

The group, Youth and Society stated, “Partying is an important activity to analyze when examining boredom among young people in rural settings because it provides structure and meaning to otherwise unstructured, boring, leisure time." (Willging, Quintero, Lilliott, 2011).

3.
Drug useMORE

Once a youth starts to involve themselves into the partying environment it is easier for them to also fall into the drug environment.

Sources
2.
Hitting the Wall: Youth Perspectives on Boredom, Trouble, and Drug Use Dynamics in Rural New Mexico.

Willging, Cathleen E - (January 1, 2014)

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3923420/

This source focused on this same youth problem in New Mexico.

4.
Intervention Costs From Communities Putting Prevention to Work

Amanda A. Honeycutt, PhD; Olga A. Khavjou, MA; Christina Bradley, BS - Center for Disease Control and Prevention (July 28, 2016)

https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2016/15_0368.htm

This article focuses on the cost for reaching out to the community to prevent harmful decisions.

Go deeper
1.
Youth Drinking: Risk Factors and Consequences

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (July 1, 1997)

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa37.htm

This article looks further into the risks of underage drinking.

Authors


Cayleb Broadwater
-
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The Solution

Proposed Actions
Expand all bullets
1.
Positive alternativesMORE

provide fun, challenging, and structured activities with supervision so people have constructive and healthy ways to enjoy free time and learn skills. These alcohol- and drug-free activities help people—particularly young people— stay away from situations that encourage use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs (Focus on Prevention,13)

2.
Information dissemination MORE

increases knowledge and change attitudes through communications, such as classroom speakers or media campaigns (Focus on Prevention,13)

3.
Environmental strategiesMORE

are aimed at the settings and conditions in which people live, work, and socialize. These strategies call for change in policies— to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors—for example, tighter zoning restrictions on alcohol outlets or stronger enforcement to prevent underage purchases of alcohol and tobacco products (Focus on Prevention,13)

Expected Results
Expand all bullets
1.
Lower rate of youth drinking and drug useMORE

By following the steps stated before, the rate of youths that would normally interact with partying will most likely not feel the need to since they will be able to interact with their peers through productive activities.

2.
expanding a persons friend groupMORE

By creating fun activities for youths they will also be able to expand their friend group with other youths with the same interests.

3.
Getting the whole community on boardMORE

By using environmental strategies and also information dissemination will help get more of the community on board with this movement. 

Budget

According to the CDC and a project by them called "Preventing Chronic Disease", they figured out and average cost for these types of prevention programs. On average along with some donations it would cost roughly around 5 dollars per person to participate in these types of programs. 

The Conversation

5 months ago
5 months ago
5 months ago
While i was growing up my hometown was pretty small and there really wasn't anything for the youth to do, so out of boredom i turned to partying and drinking. This decision got my into trouble with sports and even further down the road when i decided to apply for the Maryland State police.

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