CADCA’s Youth Leadership Program

Youth are not leading tomorrow but leading now! There has never been a time like the present for youth to rise to leadership roles in their coalitions and address the pressing issues facing our communities. CADCA’s Youth Leadership Training Courses develop critical thinking skills in youth and equip them with necessary tools to help coalitions achieve community-level change. Our training empowers young people to take youth-led civic action in their communities.

Building partnerships with diverse stakeholders at the community level is the foundation of the coalition model. To accomplish true sustainability and long-term impact, it is imperative that we empower youth to be catalysts and sustainers of community change. CADCA’s Youth Leadership Training Courses develop the skills of youth in your community and provides them with necessary tools to help your coalition achieve community-level change. Our training empowers young people ages 13-18 years old to take youth-led civic action in their communities. Coalitions across the country are sending their youth through these exciting courses to help them work together more effectively.

Youth Leadership contains three separate courses for Mid-Year: Key Essentials, Leveling Up Communities, and Youth Leadership Breakout. Both courses must be attended by youth and their adult coalition advisor to support the learning process.

The Key Essentials Course equips participants with the foundational tools needed to take the first steps in solving their communities’ problems around drugs, juuling, underage drinking, prescription drugs, and other social ills using the Strategic Prevention Framework.

Key Essentials esta ofrecida en español con espacio limitado, por favor contactar para más información sobre como registrar.

Key Essentials is also offered in Spanish and has limited seating, please contact for more information.

Leveling Up Communities offers new insight into the work we do within our communities, to ensure that it impacts all community members, especially those who need it most. Health equity is becoming an integral concept within substance misuse prevention efforts, and this track will address how we can facilitate change in our communities through this perspective. Youth who sign up for this track must attend every session, and it is recommended that an adult advisor attend this track with youth from the coalition.

The Youth Leadership Breakout Track offers youth who have completed the Key Essentials and Leveling Up Communities training tracks another option. This track provides youth leaders an introduction to varies prevention strategies and insights to help build their leadership skills and community coalitions.

The Sessions include:

  1. Selfcare- Focus on Strengths and Strategies
  2. LEAD: An Immersive Youth Leadership Experience (Partner Session)
  3. Ignite Your Influence: How to Engage and Influence Your Peers in Prevention (Partner Session)
  4. Keeping My Bounce High
  5. The Power of YOUth (Partner Session)
  6. Train Your Brain- Health. Hope. LIVE. (Partner Session)
  7. Hot Take: A Toxic Combo of Social Media, Drugs, Human Trafficking, and Mental Health
  8. Under the Influence: Exposing Alcohol Industry Tactics



  1. There are three separate youth leadership training tracks at Mid-Year; please register your group (#’s of adult advisors and youth) for one of the following tracks: the Key Essentials Training or Leveling Up Communities Training or Youth Leadership Breakout Session Training. Please pre-select your training track utilizing this link.
  2. Many of our youth leaders have already completed Key Essentials and LUC, therefore we want to offer additional training opportunities for youth to attend. Please see the description of our new Youth Leadership Breakout Track for more information!
  3. As the coalition adult advisor(s) and ongoing support for the work that will happen with your youth group when you return to your community, Coalition Adult Advisors are required to participate with youth for all youth leadership trainings. Please confirm adult advisors from your youth coalitions that will participate in all training segments with the youth (excluding for special breakout session for adult advisors).
  4. We must have a Parent Consent Form for every youth.


Is there a consent form to complete?
Yes, A consent form is required for all registered youth 18 years old or younger.  Please complete and submit one here.

What are the age requirements? 
The Youth Leadership Courses are designed for ages 13–20-year-old; however, email us if you have an exception.

Are adults required to participate with the youth in youth leadership courses? 
Yes, adult advisors are required to participate with their youth throughout the process. CADCA’s Youth Leadership model is a specialized training built on establishing healthy adult-youth partnerships and expects adults to work with youth throughout the training sessions. This is not a chaperone role, but instead a coach/mentor from the coalition who will support the implementation of strategies developed upon returning to the coalition.

What is the attire? 
The attire is casual during training sessions. Nothing too tight, loose, short or revealing.

What to bring? 
If your coalition has community data, please bring it! (for ex: youth survey data)

Do the youth follow the same adult schedule? 
Yes and no. For the most part youth will follow the main Mid-Year Schedule with the exception of the Youth Meet-Up N’ Chill and Youth Talent Show. Please see schedule below for more details. Schedule is subject to change, so please check back prior to your departure.