NYLI & Youth Programs

The question is not do youth have what it takes to create community change, it’s have they been given the opportunity to create community change?

Youth involved in coalitions and guided by supportive adults are provided an incredible opportunity to help reduce the drug issues facing their communities. Research has shown that young people who are trained and given the tools needed to effectively implement NYLI’s community problem-solving process, can directly impact underage drinking, tobacco use, medicine abuse and misuse, and marijuana use amongst their peers.

The NYLI helps build the skills of young leaders in coalitions to take on youth-led civic change. Our model uses a team-teaching approach, where youth are taught by other young people as Youth Trainers and guided in their learning by Adult Trainers.

To accommodate all the youth present at this year’s National Leadership Forum, we have three separate courses to help young people become empowered, enhanced, and evolved leaders within their local communities.


NYLI Key Essentials is a “Youth-Led, Adult Guided” training experience designed to teach young coalition members and their adult advisors how to dismantle community problems as a team. It is a one-stop shop for young change agents. By training young people to be proficient in community assessment, problem analysis and comprehensive interventions, the NYLI Key Essentials Course transforms young leaders into agents of change. *In the Key Essentials Course, an adult advisor is required to participate alongside youth during all training sessions.

NEW! NYLI Advocacy and Policy Course is a new training that was designed to better prepare you for Capitol Hill Day and future political engagement opportunities. This course teaches young people how to be seen, be heard and be valuable by learning skills necessary to advocate before local, state and federal legislatures. The main objective with this training is to build the next generation of advocates. *In the Advocacy and Policy Course, all students must have completed the Key Essentials Course to register. An adult advisor is not required for this course, but is recommended.

Youth Summit Workshops these are singular interactive training sessions targeted to young coalition leaders who are looking to be energized and elevated. Youth who register for this track may also attend whatever Adult Training Session they desire. While customized for youth, all coalition members are encouraged to join in on the fun! *In the Youth Summit training sessions, there are no prerequisites to attend. An adult advisor is not required for this course.




8 am – 7 pm

Registration Open

(Convention Center Foyer, Level 2)

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Youth United States Capitol Tour

During your week at CADCA's NYLI Training, you will learn the skills needed to truly make an impact in your communities around the drug issues. For those registered for the NYLI Advocacy & Policy Course, this allows you to see, first hand, the place where all your efforts make the most noise! The place where Congress meets. The United States Capitol is a monument, a working office building, and one of the most recognizable symbols of representative democracy in the world.

For more details and to sign up, please go to http://youthuscapitoltourcadcanyli.eventbrite.com

5 pm – 6:30 pm              

Coalitions Idea Fair, Opening Reception and Exhibits Open

(Maryland Ballroom)

8 pm – 9:30 pm      (for all YOUTH attendees)

Youth Meet Up & Open Mic A social event to meet other young leaders from across the country. After we’ll open the space for those who would like to share a talent like playing the nose flute, walking backward on a handstand or a spoken word piece, poem, song, rap or dance routine.

Youth Presentation Workshop               

Youth attendees will help create, produce and formalize a youth presentation that will be presented during the National Leadership Awards Luncheon on the last day of the Forum, Thursday, Feb 5th at 12-2pm.


7 am – 6 pm               

Registration Open

(Convention Center Foyer, Level 2)

7:30 am – 8:15 am                 

Continental Breakfast

(Maryland Ballroom)

7:45 am – 8:15 am                 

Coalition Ideas Fair Poster Presentations (even numbered posters)

(Maryland Ballroom)

8:30 am – 10:30 am   

National Leadership Plenary

(Potomac Ballroom)

10:30 am – 11 am      

Refreshment Break

(Maryland Ballroom)

11 am – 12:15 pm      

NYLI Key Essentials:  Intro to the NYLI, What’s In A Leader? The Strategic Prevention Framework

Youth will learn about the skills that are needed to effectively participate in community problem solving. Special emphasis will be placed on leadership and cultural competency.  Youth will learn the elements of the Strategic Prevention Framework, a model used by coalitions around the world to experience outcomes.

NYLI Advocacy and Policy Course:  Advocacy and Leadership

When it comes to alcohol and drug prevention, we need more advocates. The what, where, why, and how of advocacy will be discussed in this session. Have you wanted to become a leader in policy making and policy change? It all begins with advocacy and knowing the ins and outs of being an effective advocate.

Youth Summit:  BE BADD!

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm   

Lunch Break (on your own)

1:30 pm – 3 pm

NYLI Key Essentials: Community Pulse Check & Looking at the Roots

Participants also will learn the essential parts of a community assessment and how this process is used to surface community issues. Using the assessment, the group will reach a consensus to formulate a problem statement as determined.  Youth will increase their knowledge of how problems emerge in communities.  Using the “But Why? /But Why Here?” problem analysis technique, participants will identify the risk factors that influence problems in their community.  

NYLI Advocacy and Policy Course: Understanding the Legislative Process

Are you interested in taking an active role in the process of making bills into laws? In this session, youth will gain a more engaging look into the legislative process. Coalitions across the nation are making huge strides in passing bills into laws. We will look at some examples of how coalitions have helped prevention through the legislative process.

Youth Summit:  Busting Myths With Authentic Youth Engagement

3 pm – 3:30 pm          

Refreshment Break

(Maryland Ballroom)

3:30 pm – 4:45 pm     

NYLI Key Essentials:  A Deeper Analysis of What’s Going On & What’s Our Model for Change

Youth will increase their knowledge of how problems emerge in communities.  Using the “But Why? /But Why Here?” problem analysis technique, participants will choose local conditions that need addressing. Youth will then develop a model for change that will concretely convey their process for creating change in their communities.

NYLI Advocacy and Policy Course: Speak Up! Talking to your Representative  

Are you shy? Nervous? Too outspoken? This session is for all young wanting to engage with their local, state and federal representatives. Get tips on looking professional, sounding professional, and being professional.

Youth Summit:  CHAMPS or chumps: The Choice Comes Down to U!

5 pm – 6:15 pm          

State & Territory Meetings

8 pm – 9:30 pm          

Youth Presentation Practice


7:30 am – 4 pm                      

Registration Open

(Convention Center Foyer, Level 2)

7:30 am – 8:15 am     

Continental Breakfast

(Maryland Ballroom)

7:45 am – 8:15 am     

Coalition Ideas Fair Poster Presentations (odd numbered posters)

(Maryland Ballroom)

8:30 am – 10:30 am   

Capitol Hill Day Plenary

(Potomac Ballroom)

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Capitol Hill Day Reception

902 Senate Hart Building

1 pm – 5 pm               

Capitol Hill Day Appointments

8 pm – 10 pm             

Youth Game Night

Come hang out and throwback with some old-fashioned board games!


7:30 am – 2:30 pm     

Registration Open

(Convention Center Foyer, Level 2)

7:30 am – 8:45 am     

Membership Breakfast (open to all)

(Potomac Ballroom)

9 am – 10:15 am        

NYLI Key Essentials:  What You[th] Can Do

Youth will learn evidence-based interventions strategies and how they are used to address problems in order to achieve positive community change.  They also learn how to map strategies to their Logic Model for Youth-In-Action Projects.

NYLI Advocacy and Policy Course: The Elevator Speech

It’s important to know what you’re advocating for, but it’s also important to be able to communicate that message clearly and quickly. In this session young people will learn to deliver their messages in the most effective and efficient way. All youth will get a chance to present their elevator speeches before the group.

Youth Summit:  Connecting with Youth Through Social Media

10:15 am – 10:45 am

Refreshment Break

(Maryland Ballroom)

10:45 am – noon        

NYLI Key Essentials:  Plans into Action

Youth develop a detailed Youth-In-Action Plan, one tangible product from the NYLI training. This Plan is to serve as a step by step project for youth in the coalition to implement in collaboration with the coalition’s existing strategic and action plans.

NYLI Advocacy and Policy Course:  Capitol Hill Day Exchange

CADCA’s Capitol Hill Day gives an incredible opportunity for coalition youth to make their issues and successes known to their congressmen and women. As such, we wanted to allow space for you and your team to share your experience and, of course, pictures and short video clips with other teams.  

Youth Summit:  From Activities to Advocacy

12:20 pm – 2:20 pm   

National Leadership Awards Lunch & Youth Presentation

(Potomac Ballroom)

2:45 pm – 4 pm          

NYLI Key Essentials:  Putting it All Together & Coalition Cross-Share

Youth will have an opportunity to report out their Youth-In-Action Plans and cross-share ideas with coalitions from across the nation who are focusing on the same drug problem in their community.

NYLI Advocacy and Policy Course:  Creating an Action Plan for Advocacy and Policy Change

In the NYLI Key Essentials, you learned how to develop strategic action plans because with every big change needs big planning. The advocacy plan you develop here will give you the step by step actions you’ll need to take to move closer to your change goal. 

Youth Summit:  Dynamic Duo: Youth and Community


Attire: Comfortable, yet appropriate. Casual or business casual is fine. We stress that all attire be tasteful.
This means nothing too tight, short, baggy, or revealing. This applies to all CADCA events.

What to bring: It may be helpful to bring any statistical data from your community the group has researched that may facilitate application work (not required). Advanced Only: Bring a copy of your Community Assessment, Logic Model, an updated NYLI Logic Model and a laptop computer. Workbooks will be provided for both courses.

Adult Participation: An adult advisor is required to participate with youth during the course; however, adults are not required to attend the Youth Meet & Greet or Youth Dance. CADCA releases all liability and does not guarantee that there will be adult supervision at all times during these events.

Parent Consent Forms: The consents forms acts as a permission for attendance, medical treatment, a general release of liability and photography/video waiver for all minors in attendance. Forms of all youth attending are required prior to arriving at the training event. Onsite registrants must submit a parent consent form at the time of registration. If the parent of the youth is in attendance, a signed form is still required.

Submit All Info to: Arilea Fernandez, Youth Programs Manager at nyli@cadca.org