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Andrea Ventura is a high school senior from Broward County, Florida. Drawn by her desire to give back to her community, she has been involved in coalition work for over six years as a member of United Way’s Broward Youth Coalition (BYC). Andrea has worked with her coalition on several programs, including the Youth Leadership Institute, an event used to empower youth in leadership and drug prevention. Andrea has also played a role in the United Way of Broward County Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention’s Latino Initiative, where she served as a speaker at the coalition’s first Rising Above Stigma conference, aimed to inform Latino parents about prevention. Currently, Andrea is focusing her efforts on the Latino Initiative’s Mobile Home Park Initiative, where she tutors kids who live in a mobile home park in her community and teaches them about drug prevention. Andrea has used her cultural competence, bilingualism and public speaking skills for the past three years to advocate for drug, immigration and gun policy reform.

Last summer, Andrea received a scholarship to attend CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute, where she completed the Youth Leadership Key Essentials course in Spanish. This event inspired Andrea to apply to CADCA Youth Leadership’s Training of Trainers program, and she was selected for the upcoming 2020 cohort. She is excited to continue her journey of promoting substance misuse prevention with CADCA. After graduating high school, Andrea will pursue her dreams of advancing human progress by studying international relations at Boston University and then attending law school.

 

Angela Ventura is a high school senior at Pompano Beach High School in Broward County, Florida. Andrea enjoys debate, advocating for marginalized groups and serving her community through coalition work. She has been involved with her local coalition, United Way’s Broward Youth Coalition, for the past six years. During this time, Angela has collaborated with her coalition on several community initiatives, including pushing for the passing of legislation to counter the e-cigarette epidemic in her county, which contributed to the passing of Tobacco 21 legislation in the city of Ft. Lauderdale.

Angela was first introduced to CADCA after she participated in a Photovoice training with her coalition. The images that Angela captured showing the reality of the e-cigarette epidemic in her county were selected to be shown at CADCA’s National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. In 2019, Angela was awarded a scholarship to attend CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute, where she completed the Youth Leadership Key Essentials course in Spanish. This led Angela to be selected to participate in CADCA Youth Leadership’s Training of Trainers program for the upcoming 2020 cohort, and she is thrilled to be part of this program. Angela plans to study international relations at Boston University and later attend law school. Angela’s dream is to continue to seek advancement and progress in communities of color, driven by her strong sense of social responsibility as a global citizen.

Chase Taylor is a member of the Montcalm Youth Wellness Committee in Montcalm County, Michigan, and part of CADCA Youth Leadership’s Training of Trainers program 2020 cohort.

Substance misuse prevention has played a critical role in Chase’s life, as he has seen family members struggle with addiction. Chase’s goal is to ensure, through his prevention work, that other teens do not have to endure similar experiences. Chase has been a member of his coalition for the past three years, working to improve his leadership skills to create community change.

Chase became involved with CADCA because he believes the organization’s work has the power to change the world. In the future, Chase hopes to inspire young lives by being a CADCA Trainer. Chase plans on attending college to study emergency medicine and believes his prevention work will be invaluable to his future career path.