The Placer County Youth Commission recently announced their 2016-2017 grant award to support the implementation of underage drinking prevention projects. The money will fund Placer County Youth Commission leaders to address this important public safety issue at the local level.
Grant funds are provided through the California Friday Night Live Partnership with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, which is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. CFNLP is fortunate to provide these funds to 34 sites in 25 counties throughout the state.
According to a report on underage drinking by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, on average, alcohol is a factor in the deaths of 4,358 young people under age 21 each year.
Studies also show that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times as likely to develop alcoholism later in their life. Another CDC study reveals that in 2010 the estimated national economic cost of excessive underage drinking was $24 billion.
“It’s an issue that’s deeply set within high schools and the teenage identity–that it’s OK to binge drink,” said Shawn Wang, high school senior and Placer County Youth Commission president.
These grants will provide an opportunity for FNL youth to partner with local law enforcement, parents and community members to implement two significant youth-led prevention campaigns and two specific activities to reach the parents and guardians.
These projects aim to reduce underage drinking through education, outreach, and environmental prevention strategies.
Placer County Youth Commissioners will work to increase awareness of the risks of alcohol use by their peers and support positive activities and youth appreciation in Placer County through the Annual Youth Impact Awards while they work to promote policies that reduce youth access to alcohol, such as social host ordinances.
CFNLP has partnered with OTS to implement underage drinking reduction projects for over 30 years and thanks to this partnership, FNL youth have created some of the most impactful campaigns and have made significant community changes throughout the state, including:
- Placer County Youth Commissioners were successful in supporting the passage of both the Cities of Roseville and Rocklin’s social host ordinances in 2015;
- Crosswalk, sidewalk and traffic light installations;
- Parents pledging to not provide alcohol access to minors;
- Merchant policy changes to reduce minors’ access and exposure;
- Replacing alcohol advertising with positive message campaigns; and
- Empowering youths to make positive impacts in their community.
As a prerequisite to obtain the funds, Placer County Youth Commission FNL members participated in Roadwatch, an annual observational survey administered by the CFNLP. For one hour Oct. 11, youth participants observed 140 incidents of distracted driving near Oakmont High School in Roseville and Western Sierra Collegiate Academy High School in Rocklin, ranging from talking and texting on cellphones to eating, drinking, and personal grooming. The Placer County Youth Commission conducted their surveys at two of over 115 sites throughout the state that observed a total of 12,852 distracted driving behaviors on that day.
“Youth respond to other youth much better than adult-driven and -delivered messages,” said Dr. Jim Kooler, California Friday Night Live Partnership Administrator. “By supporting them with the skills and opportunities to make positive changes in their communities, we will see results that matter.”
The Placer County Youth Commission, Friday Night Live group in Placer County builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development that engage youth as active leaders and resources in their community.