The Ripple Effect of Positive Youth Engagement

11:30 AM
12:45 PM
Chesapeake 4-6


SoPo Unite-All Ages All In's Youth Committee began with three student leaders back in 2016 and has grown to more than eighty high school students, fifty middle school students, and over a hundred alumni! The initiatives and strategies the students have been engaged in have made long lasting changes in the South Portland School Department's substance use policy and athletic code, using a restorative process instead of a punitive process. The policy is now the model policy for the Maine CDC and is featured in SAMHSA's Guidebook on Community Engagement in Substance Use Prevention. Students have advocated for the policy changes and have met with many sectors such as school administrators and staff, coaches, law enforcement, parents/guardians, youth. Students have been interviewed by the Pew Charitable Trust, NPR, Maine Public Radio, and local tv stations to share their efforts. The meaningful focus of the students has now spread to ten other states as well as national and state agencies.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Make a plan for meaningful youth engagement strategies that lead to effective policy change

2. Learn strategies on how to use the Strategic Prevention Framework using technology

3. Learn about the many critical trainings on restorative practice, motivational interviewing for youth


Ms. Lee Anne Dodge, MS and Certified Prevention Specialist
Program Director
SoPo Unite All Ages All In
Kara Tierney
School Social Worker South Portland High School
SoPo Unite All Ages All In
Jana Richards
Project Coordinator
SoPo Unite All Ages All In