What / Skills

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Youth Empowerment Solutions

The Youth Empowerment Solutions Program (or “YES”) is designed to help middle school students develop the knowledge and skills they need to plan and lead community change projects here in Chelsea. SRSLY believes that the best way to make positive changes in our community, and reduce destructive behaviors like underage drinking and drug use, is to let youth take the lead. The YES Program prepares them to do just that.

The YES Program was developed by the Prevention Research Center of Michigan, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The SRSLY Coalition is implementing the YES Program in Chelsea in order to empower young people and create positive community change. With permission from the original authors, SRSLY has adjusted the original curriculum to specifically target destructive behavior in Chelsea youth.

The training consists of four in-service trainings at Beach Middle School and additional team meetings as needed through the end of the school year. The in-service trainings are held during elective periods and cover teamwork, leadership and project planning. The program includes a community asset visit, a discussion with community leaders, and a “windshielding” activity, during which youth learn how to identify community assets and liabilities.

Know of a student you would like to recommend to the program? Are you a student who would like to sign up? Contact your school counselor or SRSLY staff directly to sign up.

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Guiding Good Choices

Guiding Good Choices (GGC) is highly effective in reducing drug and alcohol use among kids whose parents participate. In fact, kids whose parents participate are 40% less likely to use drugs and alcohol than kids whose parents don’t.

GGC consists of one two-hour workshop per week, for five weeks. Parents enjoy this skill-based program, and agree that their children’s health and safety are worth the ten-hour time investment.

During lively, interactive workshops, parents learn practical skills to help them strengthen their relationship with their children, and help kids avoid drug use and other problems. Parents who have completed GGC in Chelsea with SRSLY have said:

“The Guiding Good Choices program gave me a better understanding of the pressure our children experience to use drugs and alcohol. It underscored the importance of talking openly about the risks of drug and alcohol use, and expressing my values.”
“I didn’t think Guiding Good Choices was for me since I have a degree in child development, but now that I’ve taken the course, I feel like I made it just in time as a soon-to-be middle school parent.”
“I enjoyed the variety of teaching methods, and interactive discussion with other parents. We were able to share our own experiences, and learn from the experiences of others.”
“It can be intimidating to talk to kids about alcohol use, and a lot of parents want to avoid conflict with their kids, so they just don’t tackle the subject. Parents want their kids to say no to drugs and alcohol, but they do not always know what they can do to make sure that happens. I want to give parents tools and strategies to help prevent tragedies, including youth deaths due to overdoses or accidents,”

There are two ways parents can participate in GGC:

  1. Sign up for a session already scheduled (see below).
  2. Schedule your own session. Groups of eight or more who would like to complete GGC can schedule a private session at a time and place that is convenient for your group.

There is no charge for this program when it is held in Chelsea. SRSLY is able to offer Guiding Good Choices for free, and with flexible scheduling, thanks to the generous support of Chelsea Community Hospital, the Coghlan Family Foundation, and our volunteer facilitators.

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