The Youth Alliance

Engage Equip Empower Experience

September 2021

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"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King


This FREE summit aims to educate our community on the dangers of youth marijuana use.

Cannabis Awareness and Community Impact Summit- FREE EVENT

Monday, Oct. 18th, 9am-2pm

1290 Arsenal Street

Watertown, NY

Free Buffet served by HILTON STAFF - Zesty Italian Buffet with Chicken Parmigiana. Limited to 80 spaces for social distancing protocols.

This FREE summit aims to educate our community on the dangers of youth marijuana use.

The morning will begin with a presentation by Laura Stack of Johnny's Ambassadors followed by a panel discussion with question and answer session.

OASAS CPP/CPS/CASAC credit pending.

Masks will be required for the event except when actively eating or drinking.

RSVP here or by clicking on this link.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Full Alliance of Better Communities Meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 19th, 2-3pm

This is an online event.

Zoom Link to be made available closer to the event.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Youth Alliance Kick Off to School Year 2021-22 Meeting

Thursday, Oct. 21st, 4-6pm


This meeting is scheduled to be hybrid. (virtual and in person option available). Location to be determined. Zoom link to be sent at a later date.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Fall Gratitude Rock'in Art Contest

Friday, Oct. 1st, 12am to Monday, Nov. 15th, 12am

Jefferson County, NY

More information to follow. Open to all ages. Theme is: Gratitude.
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"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - The Lorax

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"You don't drown from falling in water; you drown from staying in it." - Edwin Louis Cole

a PARENTS perspective

Here are a couple tips that have helped me out over the years.

Go for a ride in the car!

  • This was advice a good friend gave me about the best place to have important but uncomfortable conversations with my teenagers. And I have used this advice several times. The idea of this is that first and foremost, they can’t walk away from the conversation. Secondly, you’re both facing forward, you’re naturally avoiding eye contact. This might seem backwards when you’re trying to have an impactful conversation but let’s face it, whether you’re talking about drugs, sex, relationships, even the most seasoned parent can feel awkward and not know what to do with their eyes and just imagine how our kids feel. BONUS - you won’t become frustrated when your kid is rolling their eyes or putting on the “are you done yet” smirk.

When it comes to teenagers, you can’t take anything personally!

  • Here is some great advice I received from my own teenager, and something I try to remind myself of every day. Teenagers won’t be teenagers forever, and this too shall pass. Right now, our goal is to give them guidance, love and the knowledge they need to prepare them for adulthood. During the teen years sometimes parents need to be like a duck. Let the emotions roll off you, keep cool and calm, while under the surface you are paddling you and your ducklings forward. We can do this!

In a Nutshell!

  • Although the information we discuss is important, what’s more important is that our teenagers really need is US! Have the tough conversations, and be aware and engaged in their life in and out of the home. Thoughtful communication through the tough days will help to develop a strong open relationship with our children and help them to move through a challenging world where they will routinely be faced with tough choices and give them the comfort in knowing you are there for them.
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"Experience is something I always think I have until I get more of it." - Burton Hillis

Dear Youth Alliance,

My daughter wants to go to a party this weekend. I know there will be kids who drink and smoke weed there. We talk openly about drinking & smoking weed, she doesn’t really enjoy it but she might have one drink to feel social. What should I do?

Sincerely, Concerned in Clayton

Dear Concerned in Clayton,

Having that type of trust and comfort talking about drinking and smoking will make a positive impact on your daughter when she is faced with tough choices. But it's also important to keep the discussion going and relevant. Teenagers go through different phases that can change from year to year, month to month or lets face it, it can be hour to hour some days:)

I would confirm that there is a designated sober driver to and from the party. Even offer to drive her and her friends. I would also "recap" the guidelines & expectations that you discussed previously. I think it can be helpful to put some responsibility on her since she tends to not engage in heavy drinking. Suggest that she keep an eye out for others at the party who may overindulge and make poor or unsafe decisions. If possible make yourself available if there is a situation where she needs to contact you for advice or an emergency.

I think it is important to not condone the use of alcohol or drugs, however empower her to make choices that are good for her safety and health. Also, you can always give "excuses" that she can use to remove herself from a situation such as "my mom will test me for marijuana" or "I will lose my driving privilege's and nothing is worse than that!" The goal is that she feels empowered and confident to say no. The reality is that we still need to prepared if a decision is made that can jeopardize her safety and have a realistic plan in place to assist her.

While we can't wrap our teenagers up in bubble wrap to protect them from harm, we can guide them and prepare them to handle and move through difficult circumstances.


Members of the Youth Alliance CAST (Community Adult Support Team)


Youth Alliance partners with 10 community agencies to host their first Rock 'in Art Contest with over 400 inspirational rocks painted!

Current projects we need YOUR help with!

Click below to get more information on how to get involved.
Want to get involved? CLICK HERE

We have opportunities for all to get involved. Whether you want to be on the youth team or the community adult support team please fill out this form to find out more. We will get back to you with more information within 48 hours.

The Youth Alliance

Our Mission

To reduce underage drinking and substance use while building capacity in youth through healthy life experiences.


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