Youth Leaders

ADAPAO Youth Prevention Awards

ADAPAO presented the inaugural ADAPAO Youth Prevention Awards, recognizing three Ohio young people and a youth-serving organization for their commitment to preventing alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse and other behavioral health issues. The awards were presented at the ADAPAO Garden Party, held October 22, 2016 at the Groveport Log House & Heritage Park. The award recipients:

ADAPAO Youth Community Champion Award

for going above and beyond expectations to champion prevention within their local community

Gregory Weber

Greg is a member of Stark County Youth Led Prevention (SCYLP) and a freshman at East Canton High School. 

As a member of SCYLP, Greg participated in the creation of a strategic plan map for the county youth group. He also volunteers for almost every event SCYLP participates in or sponsors. Greg has also been an advocate for Stark County Safe Communities and their goals of increasing traffic safety and preventing traffic fatalities, including encouraging drivers to not use alcohol or other drugs before or while operating a vehicle.

Greg is also an advocate in his school district. As an eighth grader, he spearheaded East Canton’s participation in the “We Are The Majority” Rally in Columbus, ensuring 30 students attended the May 2016 event. Greg also attended the Youth to Youth International Conference in June 2016 to bring back knowledge and skills to further contribute to youth-led prevention efforts in his school and community.

“Grego has already left a prevention imprint on his local community, and he’s only a freshman,” noted Aimee Wade, ADAPAO president. “We can only imagine his contributions throughout the remainder of his high school career. We look forward to witnessing his continued impact on prevention.”

ADAPAO Youth Advocate Award

for exemplary efforts to employ dialogue, networking, and advocacy to amplify a unified voice for prevention

Dajue Newell

Dajue is president of the Village Youth-Led Community Coalition, a program of Lima UMADAOP (Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program). She is also a member of both the Quality Urban Alliance Approaching Destiny (Q.U.A.A.D.) through the UMADAOP Federation of Ohio and the Ohio Youth Led Prevention Network (OYLPN), both statewide organizations. Dajue is a junior at Lima Central Catholic High School.  

On the local level, Dajue helped organize a Parents’ Night event in Lima, providing a teen perspective on substance abuse and mental health issues to parents, educators and community professionals. She also led her local peers in raising funds for the Flint Michigan Project, an initiative of the UMADAOP Federation of Ohio, which raised funds to purchase bottled water, filters, and baby wipes for families in the Michigan city.

Dajue’s contributions on the state level are no less impressive. She has represented the her community in a Legislative Day, engaging with state legislators on the behavioral health of Ohio’s youth. As a member of OYLPN, she assisted in the organization of and participated in the May, 2016 “We Are The Majority” Rally in Columbus, joining thousands of her peers to showcase the benefits of living a positive, healthy, drug-free lifestyle. Dajue was among a handful of youth who also met with Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich on the day of the rally.

“Dajue is a textbook example of an advocate,” noted ADAPAO President Aimee Wade. “She applies her skills and passion to affect positive change in her community and across our state, benefitting her peers and all of Ohio.”

ADAPAO Youth Prevention Alumni Award

for exemplary efforts to advance prevention as a young adult

Cameron Justice

While a student at Dublin Coffman High School, Cameron was active in Dublin Teen Institute and Dublin A.C.T. (Adolescents and Community Together) Coalition Youth Council. He was also an engaged member of Youth to Youth, the Columbus, Ohio-based youth-led prevention organization, serving on the Youth Advisory Board and The Pulse speakers’ bureau. Cameron was also selected as youth staff for Youth to Youth’s summer training conferences, held in three different states.

He was also recognized in 2015 with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Major League Baseball Charities “Commissioner’s Play Healthy Award” for his dedication to the spirit of teamwork, dedication, leadership, hard work, fun and a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

As a student at Ohio University, Cameron is studying psychology. His contributions to prevention haven’t eased up. He continues to maintain a relationship with Youth to Youth, engaging in dialogue about expanding prevention within the university setting, while also exploring career options in prevention.

Cameron also gives back to his younger peers. He has been a key presenter at Youth to Youth’s public speaking trainings for high school students, providing important insights to current high school students about their value as role models and spokespeople for healthy, drug-free decision-making.

“Cameron demonstrates that prevention engagement in high school sets the foundation for healthy decision-making and leadership after graduation and throughout life,” said ADAPAO President Aimee Wade. “He is a role model both for younger students and for his young adult peers because of his continued commitment to making a difference and advancing prevention wherever he may be.”

ADAPAO Youth Prevention Organization of the Year

for exemplary efforts to employ dialogue, networking, and advocacy to amplify a unified voice for prevention

Youth Leadership Council of Licking County 

The Youth Leadership Council of Licking County (YLC) is a youth-led prevention project comprised of high school students who collaboratively work to help make Licking County a happy, healthy, safe, and drug-free place to live, work, and go to school. The YLC develops, plans, implements, and evaluates grassroots, youth-led prevention projects devoted to health choices, positive peer influence, and the decision to refrain from substance use, abuse and violent behaviors.

YLC projects focus on prevention education, civic engagement, leadership development, and community service initiatives, and cover topics from substance use/abuse and personal health to bullying, suicide prevention, and positive mental health. More than 200 youth participants in YLC have dedicated more than 21,000 hours to community-wide engagement through 150 unique projects in efforts to increase health and wellness in Licking County.

Among its accomplishments: The YLC successfully petitioned Licking County Board of Commissioners to make all county buildings tobacco free. The YLC has partnered with local organizations to engage in environmental prevention initiatives, including Drug Take Back Day, Share the Love (a suicide prevention event), and the annual Kickin’ ASH Splash, a tobacco prevention even that has educated more than 25,000 Licking County residents about the dangers of tobacco use. The YLC established the Licking County Leaders Summit, a one-day prevention training opportunity for high school students and supportive adults in Licking County school districts.

Youth involved in YLC have served on the Youth Council of the Ohio Youth Led Prevention Network and on focus groups for problem gambling initiatives for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. For three years, the YLC president, a high school student, has served as a voting member of the board of directors of Pathways of Central Ohio, YLC’s sponsoring agency.

“Youth Leadership Council of Licking County exemplifies the power of youth who are engaged in their communities, collaborating to create change, not only for their peers, but for their entire community,” said Aimee Wade, president of ADAPAO. “YLC youth will be change agents throughout their lives because of their engagement, learning, and empowerment during their teen years.”

ADAPAO has recognized Ohioans for contributions to prevention through presentation of the ADAPAO Awards since 1988. The 2016 ADAPAO Youth Prevention Awards are the first ADAPAO Awards specifically focused on youth and youth-serving organizations.