Welcoming Manchester to hold Welcoming Week Kick-Off Party

Welcoming Manchester to hold Welcoming Week Kick-Off Party

Welcoming Manchester, is an organization under Welcoming America. It operates under the belief that every community member, including immigrants and refugees, should feel included in their communities- as each person is vital and important to the community’s future. Starting September 18th, Welcoming Manchester will be celebrating Manchester Welcoming Week with a series of events that are free and open to any community member. The week will begin with a Kick-off Party on 9/18/19 at 5:30 in Jupiter Hall. The Kick-off will have food, music, guest speakers, cultural performances and more. The theme of the Kick-off is to welcome diversity into the city and welcome refugees and immigrants. The following day 9/19/18 there will be a Citizenship Celebration at 5:30 at the SNHU Center for New Americans. The week continues with a Free Community Night 9/20/18 from 5-8 at the Currier Museum of Art. Visitors will be able to take a tour, experience art made by students and listen to live musical entertainment. Friday night 6:30pm at Jupiter Hall there will be another free event “The Story of Us” a night of storytelling about the real lives of immigrants. On the morning of 9/22/18 there will be a children’s story time starting at 11:15am at The Bookery. Lastly, there will be a History of Immigration in New Hampshire Photo Exhibit through October 31st at the Manchester City Library. Studies show that surrounding yourself with a diverse group of people may even make you smarter. According to the Scientific American, being in groups with people of different backgrounds makes group members better prepared for alternate views, and make more of an effort to reach a group consensus. So, come out and celebrate and embrace diversity in the Manchester community during this year’s Welcoming Manchester Week!

Welcome, Young Adults!

Welcome, Young Adults!

Are you just arriving to our City for your first year at one of our great area colleges? Or starting a year of service in Manchester with Americorps? Or a young adult working in the City wondering what the heck to do for fun that doesn’t necessarily include the “bar scene?”

As part of our work strengthening and supporting our young adult workforce, we have a handy graphic for you to check out and share with you friends. We kept the suggestions healthy, fun, and mindful of cost while living on a budget!

Want to get involved in creating positive change in Manchester for young adults?  Email Kristie, or call/txt 603.660.9258.

New Hampshire Teen Institute’s Summer Program

New Hampshire Teen Institute’s Summer Program

This week, New Hampshire Teen Institute (TI) is running their signature Summer Leadership Program, a dynamic residential week of leadership development, self-discovery, and social connection for 50+ high school students from across New England.

The day before youth participants take all of the new leadership skills gained from this outstanding program and rejoin their home communities, coalition representatives from the regions the youth reside are invited to visit TI’s Summer Program, where the youth are divided into groups from their respective regions. During this workshop session, the youth, TI staff, and coalition representatives work on plans to bring back to their community to create positive change they would like to see for healthier places to live for themselves, their high schools, and their peers.

The Greater Manchester Region worked on creating lists of the strengths and challenges that the region faces as it pertains to youth. The youth in our regional group highlighted challenges such as: drug and alcohol use, with an emphasis on heroin; homelessness; bullying in schools, and lack of inclusion for students facing mental health and/or physical challenges. Strengths highlighted included community events, good organizations for children/teens (for example community coalitions and the Boys & Girls Club), good job opportunities for teens, and positive extracurricular activities such as school clubs and sports.

From there, our regional group created a wishlist — what the youth would like to see in our region to make it a healthier place for teens to thrive. This wishlist included: more SAP’s in schools, more safe hangout spaces for teens, better workshops & training for teachers for bullying prevention and intervention; a system for schools to be better able to respond to cyber bullying; more support for homeless youth; fairs for youth focused on volunteer opportunities in the region; and better mental health awareness, knowledge, and information for both students and educators to eradicate stigma.

Taking the ideas created from their wishlist, students worked on large paper to do some community mapping. Their map incorporated their wishlist to show their vision of a healthier, more vibrant region for the teens and their peers. This workshop is an important part of the Teen Institute Summer Program experience as it takes their newly formed leadership styles and development and helps them to see how they can apply what they have learned when they return home, in a tangible way to begin to create positive change locally. We ended the session with the coalition leaders discussing local resources as they applied to the issues that were most important to the teens, and ways they can get started right away in creating safer and healthier communities where they live.

Goffstown High Guest Blogger, Aron Silvestre

Goffstown High Guest Blogger, Aron Silvestre

My Youth To Youth Summer Prevention Conference Experience 
Aron Silverstre, Goffstown High School

You would not think that a 4 day trip can change your perspective on how you view culture, but at Youth to Youth my view point changed. This trip was important to me because I learned not to judge a book by its cover.

When you’re in a room with new people, you start making ideas about who they are, but after a while you get to know them and figure out why they are who they are. Everyone I knew coming into this experience, I didn’t see or talk to in the 4 days at Bryant College, for the most part. That’s because every teen that came was separated into family groups of 10-15 people we’d never met. I was in group 26 out of 41, and I can say I have never been so thankful for being in a room of strangers. The family group part of Youth to Youth was the highlight of this event for me. Not only did you get to meet new people, but create relationships with these people. My group was vary quiet at the beginning, but on the last day we couldn’t stop laughing for no reason! And this is important because what Youth to Youth showed was not how to make a plan on how to stop a drug flow in an area, but instead create an atmosphere where people can talk to each other openly and talk about what the other can improve on. In short, we built social skills.

Youth to Youth put us in a situation where we knew no one, in a group where bonding took place, and friendships grew. In these family groups we talk about what what we’re thinking of, and how the day was going, along with fun group games and exercises. So being put in this situation, I learned how to talk to somebody I might not think to talk to, and learn how to bond with them. As a leader, this is important because to get people to trust in you to speak for them, you must be willing to open yourself up and understand why they have a different view point.

I would like to thank the people who gave us the scholarship funds to go to this eye opening experience, (including Making’ It Happen, GHS, and Crispin’s House Coalition for Youth).  And everyone who came along on the trip down to Rhode Island, because even though we didn’t all get to talk to each other a lot while there, it  was fun getting to know you guys more!  And a big thanks to Kristie Curtis for bringing us on this experience!

Youth to Youth Eastern States Summer Conference

Youth to Youth Eastern States Summer Conference

In late July, we were able to take 5 teens — 3 from Central High School, and 2 from Goffstown High — to a 4-day leadership camp experience for the first time. We provided matching funds for scholarships for empowerYOUTH! members to attend, and sent one of our staff members down to RI with the teens where the event was taking place, at Bryant University. Special thanks to Crispin’s House, GHS, & CHS for helping to spread the word about this opportunity and provide some funding to ensure the 5 teens were able to attend.

We heard great things about the Youth to Youth experience, but weren’t sure what to expect. What would the set up be like? How did they choose who you would dorm with? We knew we would be learning facts about substance misuse prevention and leadership skills to bring home, but did that mean we’d sit in a classroom all day? Most importantly, would we have ANY fun?

The conference exceeded our expectations and more! We learned so many new skills about leadership and helpful tips to bring back to our coalition to share with our peers and the staff that sent us on this journey. But best of all, we made a huge network of brand new friends, who share our same interests and passions in life. It was incredible to see over 600 teens come together on the Bryant University campus who held the same values and beliefs we did about substance misuse prevention and creating positive change to build healthier communities. Our youth returned exhausted from very full days that began at 8am and ended around 11pm.

The best part of Youth to Youth, according to our 5 teens who attended, was that even though the conference was very large, they felt a true sense of community. Aron and Josue commented about how it was incredible to see such diversity of culture and backgrounds in the youth they met. “I wasn’t the only Latino, for once!” remarked Josue. Ashlynn, Kathryn, and Cat discussed how living in NH, they don’t often get the opportunity to leave their bubble of school and regional friends who share their interest of empowering their peers to live healthy lifestyles. At Youth to Youth, there were hundreds of them, all from their own coalitions, all working on similar initiatives to build a healthy, informed generation.

“I met a girl who is now my best friend,” said Kathryn. The others agreed. Everyone gained incredible peer support from like-minded peers, and left with new friends for life! When asked if we should do this again, the answer was unanimous: YES! 1000%! To hear more from a participant, Josue, about his experience at Youth to Youth please visit our podcast page. The youth we brought to RI are calling this the “best experience this summer,” and we are looking forward to these young empowerYOUTH! leaders to bring their new skills back to our group as well as their schools and communities!

The weekend in Rhode Island

The weekend in Rhode Island

This weekend is the YOUTH TO YOUTH EASTERN CONFERENCE. It’s at Bryant University in Rhode Island. We’re happy to have 5 bright, intelligent, and awesome teens attending this weekend long event with our Young Adult Strategies Coordinator, Kristie Curtis.

It’s a part of Youth to Youth International – “a forerunner in effective youth-led prevention both locally in Central Ohio with on-going comprehensive programming, and nationally with conferences, trainings, and consultations.”

Youth to Youth also “engages young people through meaningful activities and experiences to develop and implement their own ideas to create positive change.   Our original youth-driven, adult guided programming has set the standard for youth development and prevention programming across this country and around the world.” It’s teen centered, focused on leadership skill building for young people.

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Public Comment for NH Residents

Public Comment for NH Residents

This week is the public comment period for the opioid funding coming to New Hampshire this fall. On Monday, providers and citizens convened for a public comment session with representatives of NH DHHS. Attendees included representatives from all across NH providers.

This funding coming to the state is from SAMHSA, it has certain allowances and restrictions on where the money can be spent. The following link is to the presentation DHHS NH gave at the public comment session. It summarizes the grant from SAMHSA. https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bdas/documents/sor-public-hearing-presentation.pdf

Interested in the full federal grant information? https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements/ti-18-015

If you or someone you know is invested in the opioid epidemic and excited to make constructive public comments to DHHS of NH about how the money would be best spent, email sor@dhhs.nh.gov , the deadline is this Friday 7/27/2018.

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Prevention Summer In the 603!

Prevention Summer In the 603!

Ahhhhh …. summertime! School’s out, time for youth to relax and unwind from a busy school year, perhaps volunteer in your communities or make some spending money through a summer job.

Summertime is also THE TIME for some of the most fabulous youth prevention and leadership programming! This summer, Makin’ It Happen is again involved in providing scholarships for high school age youth to attend our partner in prevention, New Hampshire Teen Institute’s Summer Leadership Program, a week-long retreat for teens in August.

TI’s signature Summer Leadership Program is a dynamic residential week of leadership development, self-discovery, and social connection. SLP brings up to 100 diverse high school students from across NH and New England together through experiential workshops designed as catalysts for personal values exploration and increased school and civic engagement. Throughout the week, participants also increase their knowledge on a variety of topics including substance misuse and addiction, bullying, sexual health, conflict resolution, and health and wellness. The program connects participants with their local peers and school and community action organizations (like Makin’ It Happen!) so they can channel this new energy toward the betterment of their home communities.

In addition this year, we are providing scholarships to a group of teens in our region’s attendance at Youth to Youth’s Eastern States Summer Conference, where one of our staff will also attend as an adult advisor. Youth to Youth engages young people through meaningful activities and experiences to develop and implement their own ideas to create positive change. This year’s 4-day conference is a packed prevention agenda located in Smithfield, RI at Bryant University.

HAPPY SUMMER OF PREVENTION! We can’t wait to share our experiences and bring knowledge and leadership schools to our reopen and schools!

 

On a Mission to Prevent Addiction

On a Mission to Prevent Addiction

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation posted this great article on their website this week, starring some of the outstanding youth from our leadership group, empowerYOUTH!

Members of the Makin’ It Happen Coalition for Resilient Youth see drugs and alcohol as a clear and present danger to their generation. They are deflecting that danger with a potent weapon: the optimism of the young.

We’re so grateful to NHCF for recognizing and supporting the hard work of our young leaders. Building resiliency is our youth is a key component to preventing addiction, and we truly believe these strong young leaders will change the world for the better.

Please follow this link to read the article: https://www.nhcf.org/what-were-up-to/on-a-mission-to-prevent-addiction/