Project Extra Mile's youth leadership initiatives involve young people who want to make a difference in their communities by challenging the adult world regarding excessive alcohol consumption, which includes underage drinking. Youth leadership is critical in achieving sustainable and permanent change in communities.
Current opportunities for student involvement include:
- Youth Leadership Council: The Council is a statewide group of students ranging from 8th to 12th grades. Students involved in the Council will have a variety of leadership opportunities throughout the year while accruing community service hours, including but not limited to advocating for policy change by testifying before the Nebraska Legislature and other local governing bodies, developing media campaigns to educate the public about alcohol-related harms and proven prevention strategies, and planning community-focused events such as town halls. This program provides students with year-round skill development and opportunities to positively impact their schools, neighborhoods, and the state. Please click here to learn more and apply to be on the Council.
Youth Leadership Network: A monthly meeting of students in grades 8-12 with a desire to identify opportunities to impact their schools and communities. The Youth Leadership Network currently meets in the Omaha metro area and via Zoom. More information about the Network can be found here. To register for the next meeting on June 13, 2022, please click here.
- Youth Leadership Retreat: Project Extra Mile’s annual Youth Leadership Retreat is a unique opportunity intended for students entering 8th-12th grades. The retreat is designed to help youth develop the skills necessary to engage decision makers and positively impact their communities. While the training will focus on preventing underage drinking, it will also contribute to youths' personal, academic, and professional growth. Over the years, hundreds of students have participated in our retreat gaining new leadership and advocacy skills as well as a renewed sense of commitment to the prevention of underage drinking. Please click here to learn more and register for the retreat.
What makes a youth-led effort unique? While adult partners help youth reach their goals, young people are encouraged to take the lead in addressing alcohol-related harms in their community. Young people have an uncanny ability to capture the attention of adult policymakers. Students involved in preventing underage drinking and other excessive alcohol consumption focus on (1) examining alcohol issues and sharing the youth perspective about their impact with community leaders and key stakeholders, (2) participating in various forms of peer leadership through community connections and events, and (3) utilizing media advocacy to make their message heard.