Published on April 28, 2017

Local Youth Group Takes First Place in State Contest

(April 28, 2017 – Genoa, Ohio) Genoa Youth to Youth (Y2Y), an extracurricular after-school group at Genoa High School and led by by Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services of Ottawa County AOD Community Prevention Specialist Jamie Belcher, recently took top honors in the Drug Free Action Alliance PSA contest entitled “Start Talking Start Recording.” The purpose of the PSA contest was to get the message out about Ohio’s Start Talking! Initiative that give parents tips on how to talk to their kids about drug use.

Beating out 46 other entries, Genoa Y2Y members Sky Marko, Shyane Peacemaker, Emily Ankenbrandt, Adison Leichty, and Megan Gould split the $2500 prize money equally earning each of them $500 towards college.

genoa youth to youth

“I am so incredibly proud of this group of kids,” Belcher said. “They wrote the PSA, filmed it, and edited it all by themselves. They put a lot of hard work into this and it showed.”

Their winning PSA was titled “It Starts with a Question” with the premise of how to talk to your children about drug use.

The award was handed out during the “We Are Majority Rally” on April 20 where Genoa Y2Y marched to the statehouse with roughly 2,000 other youth to show that the majority of youth are not using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

“Most teens make good choices,” said Belcher. “It is so great to see all of these teens come together for a good cause, especially on a day that is typically acknowledged by those who are in favor of marijuana and legalization.”

Genoa Y2Y is designed to be youth-led and adult-guided that focuses on harnessing the powerful influence of peer pressure, making it a positive force that encourages young people to live free of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and make other positive life choices. This is the third year for the group at Genoa High School and Belcher also works with junior high students.

Learn more about Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services today.

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