The Issue: Peer Pressure and Teen Drug Use
The desire for acceptance can lead teens down destructive paths they might not otherwise take. In 2012, more than 36% of 12th graders in the United States reported using marijuana within the past year, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Peer pressure has a strong influence on this, and the Mayo Clinic reports that it can heavily impact the likelihood of young people starting to use drugs—but this pressure can work the other way, too. With a strong support system of friends who all make healthy decisions, teens can avoid stepping toward addiction.
The Campaign: Teaching Teens Healthy Decision Making
If 35 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then 360 Youth Services can sponsor two teens who are otherwise unable to afford the next Snowball retreat to learn about healthy decision-making. On the Friday of their retreat, teens bus over to Camp Henry Horner to meet peers, participate in group discussions, and take part in fun activities. The weekend-long program aims to help youth avoid drugs and make informed decisions by establishing a healthy support network and providing a safe place to share their struggles. Each participant receives transportation, lodging, food, and a T-shirt. Each additional $175 raised will sponsor another teen on the retreat.
Operation Snowball's Naperville Chapter
The Naperville chapter of Operation Snowball, a program of 360 Youth Services, operates under the notion that a simple message can spread and gain force organically through a community. Its programs focus on drug use, problem solving, and peer support for high-school students, both informing and empowering participants to create a change in their schools. Operation Snowball hosts three weekend retreats a year, with 225 teens and 40 adult volunteers in attendance at each. The retreats aim to prevent substance abuse and develop responsible decision-making skills. In small groups, teens participate in workshops and fun activities that range from reliving kindergarten and exploring mazes to dealing with grief. Friday night features a "no-talent" show to break the ice, and sessions of free time help youth learn about each other on their own terms.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.