Valley students hit Vegas for Youth Voices conference
LAS VEGAS, Nevada / FORT KENT, Maine — Fort Kent Community High School Youth Voices students Isabelle Lozier, Danielle Nadeau and Dolcie Tanguay took their passion for fighting substance abuse all the way to Las Vegas. The girls attended the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America 2016 Mid-Year Training Institute from July 17-21.
“The Mid-Year is a unique professional development opportunity for anyone trying to prevent and reduce drug abuse, and its related problems, in their community,” said General Arthur T. Dean, CADCA’s chairman and CEO in a press release. “After four days of intensive training, participants will return to their communities with new skills and strategies, and a clearer road map to create environments where young people can thrive.”
Youth Voices Adviser Heather Smith accompanied the girls to the Nevada conference. “The trip was amazing. We learned so much about problem solving and making an impact in our community. The students are very eager to share what they learned and start implementing new ideas,” she said.
This was the first Mid-Year institute for Lozier, a sophomore who also participates in soccer and Nordic skiing and is the vice president of her high school class. “It was nice to see kids from all over America come together trying to get substances out of their communities,” she said. “It is important because it would be nice to see not only our community, but the world be cut down on substance use; so someone, somewhere, has to start.”
Junior Danielle Nadeau has been a Youth Voices member for five years. She said she enjoyed the conference, where students learned about strategic substance abuse prevention frameworks, community assessment, and identifying strategies to combat substance abuse in the community.
Nadeau also said Las Vegas was different than the St. John Valley in several ways. “It was very hot … the heat was so different compared to Fort Kent. It was also different to see people in Las Vegas walked around on the street with alcohol, because Fort Kent does not allow people to walk around with alcohol,” she said.
More than 2,000 students, Community Voice leaders, and substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists from across the United States attended the week-long training, which was held at The Mirage, according to a press release.
Community Voices Project Manager Michelle Plourde Chasse and Community Voices member Jenna Lynds also accompanied the students to the conference.