Youth Leadership

Our community has many youth leaders using their influence to promote wellbeing. Please take the time to review what our youth are doing to support healthy, substance-free lifestyles.

Youth Ambassadors

The Orange County Youth Ambassador Drug Prevention Program is a youth lead approach designed to enhance and promote drug prevention activities in school and the community. Program activities are designed to take place in-person and virtually. Youth Ambassadors improve their leadership skills and learn how to educate and engage their peers for a positive change on campus.

SWAT

One of the primary goals of Tobacco Free Florida is to prevent the initiation of tobacco use among youth and young adults. Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is not only a youth advocacy group. SWAT promotes leadership and community involvement while focusing primarily on policy change. SWAT uses these avenues among teens to increase awareness and shift tobacco-related social norms.

SWAT members are working in three main policy areas:

  1. 1. Implement comprehensive tobacco-free campus policy within their school districts,
  2. 2. Implement tobacco-free environment policy in parks, beaches, and community events/venues,
  3. 3. Educate their peers and community about the influence of tobacco marketing in retail outlets on tobacco use.

For additional information, visit www.swatflorida.com

Red Ribbon

RED RIBBON WEEK, celebrated annually October 23-31, is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program. Local youth submit essays and artwork for our RED RIBBON WEEK contest. A panel of prevention experts judge submissions, and students are awarded prizes and honored at a reception.

Red Ribbon Week was started after the death of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who in 1985 was brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico. As a tribute to SA Camarena, high school friend Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter created “Camarena Clubs” and a red ribbon to show their oppositions to drugs. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.

To learn more about Red Ribbon Week visit

ACT (Ask Question, Care, & Take Action)

Often, bystanders do not intervene because they are unsure how to determine if an emergency exists. When faced with a situation that might warrant immediate attention, whether classified as an emergency or not, bystanders may be unsure what to do, who to call, and if they or others will be punished if they seek help for a friend.

The emphasis of Project ACT is to prepare existing, natural “influencers” to be more skilled, more effective, and more supportive of promoting help-seeking among their peers. Project ACT complements existing programs and policies, with a specific focus on raising awareness of existing resources and promoting help-seeking behaviors when concerns related to alcohol or other drug use may be present. The ACT curriculum trains college student influencers to ACT as bystanders if they suspect a peer is acutely intoxicated.