Learn about our expanding youth-driven projects and programs at the YR Drop and in schools throughout Klamath County.
YR DROP-IN CENTER
The YR Drop-in Center (YRDC) was created by teens for teens ages 13-18 (6th-12th grade). The YRDC is a free, safe, and inclusive space for young people to gain new skills, meet new people, and connect with their community.
YR Drop-in Center also provides:
· Mad Skills (career & skill exploration) · Social Nights · Pool table · Gaming systems · Computers · Board games & books · Karaoke machine · Concessions
The YR Drop offers a fun, neutral space, to increase the chance that vulnerable young people who might not consider joining a school program or reaching out for support will instead develop a sense of connection with new peers and with their community. Providing opportunities to increase developmental assets can greatly impact the onset of substance abuse, depression, and violence. Our goal is to inspire young people who access the YR Drop to set goals and gain the confidence and passion to engage in additional evidence-based YR programs.
YR LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
YRLI is a year-round leadership program for 7th-12th grade students. It consists of a 60-hour summer cohort and then semi-monthly gatherings during the school year to work on implementing youth-led Community Impact Projects. The Community Impact Projects focus on increasing protective factors and decreasing risk factors that impact underage drinking, opioid abuse, suicide, violence, and high school dropout rates.
The life skills and leadership topics relate to all aspects of life, including succeeding in the workplace, cultivating healthy living, and community and peer engagement. The summer cohort develops develops the knowledge, skills, and attitudes among participants so that they can achieve the following competencies:
1. Support healthy lifestyles and prepare youth for family life;
2. Prepare youth for the world of work; and
3. Engage youth as active citizens & change-agents.
The sessions are divided into the following units:
- Personal Development
- Interpersonal Development
- Goal Setting and Action Planning
- Teamwork and Leadership
Along the way, participants will engage in a Youth Action Research Project in partnership with OIT students and professors. Each session concludes with the design and preparation for a Community-Impact Project to be worked on during the school year. To conclude the session, youth will engage in a Peer Connectedness activity to celebrate their accomplishments which can range from a party to a day of zip-lining
Teens are more comfortable communicating electronically rather than speaking face-to-face. Yet most jobs & important situations require strong interpersonal communication skills. Now, more than ever, they need guidance in developing communication skills. YR Gavel Club is an extension of the International Toastmasters Clubs, except participation is free and only for individuals under 18.
SOURCES OF STRENGTH
SOS is rooted in eight strengths- factors that research has shown are protective against suicide risk and also has an indirect impact on other risky behaviors. These include: Family support, positive friends, spirituality, mentors, healthy activities, medical access, mental health and generosity.
YR Sources of Strength trains students as peer leaders and connects them with volunteer adult advisors at school and in the community. With support from advisors, the peer leaders conduct well-defined messaging activities intended to change peer group norms influencing coping practices and problem behaviors (e.g., drug use, risky behaviors). Sources of Strength is a proven, evidence-based model showing strong outcomes among multiple studies.
Prevention experts warn that programs emphasizing risk are less likely to work as well, and researchers say there is little evidence that one-time lectures or events have any effect at all. They also state that sustained effort must include making students part of the intervention and not the target of it. Youth Rising is working to integrate SOS as a county-wide movement in middle schools and high schools. SOS is the first available and proven suicide prevention program involving peer leaders to enhance protective factors associated with reducing suicide at the school population level.
SOS ACTIVITIES ARE DESIGNED TO:
· Reduce the acceptability of poor mental health & substance abuse as a response to distress
· Increase acceptability of seeking help
· Improve communication between youth & adults,
· Develop healthy coping attitudes among youth
· Positively modify knowledge, attitudes, & overall behaviors
YR THEATER TROUPE
YR Theater Troupe members create and perform original plays on topics of interest based on what impacts young people today. They present these plays to youth and the community. Trained Troupe members (peer educators) provide these performances that consist of three parts:
1) A short play
2) Question/answer session (actors stay in character)
3) Open-forum discussion of the play’s themes led by
After the performance and discussions, a reality workshop takes place. This depends on the topic presented. In the case of substance abuse prevention, speakers recovering from substance abuse are brought in and get to share their personal stories and discuss issues raised by the performance as it relates to their own experiences. Their shared stories help to personalize the risk and break through teens’ sense of “This can’t happen to me”.
The final session includes a skill-building workshop. These help students to learn appropriate information and skills related to the main topic. Factual information is provided, correcting myths common among peers, and building strong communication and resistance skills. Since learning and developing competence in any topic happens through modeling and imitation, young people need to see skills demonstrated and practice them.