Join the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network (OYLPN) on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, from 10 am - 1 pm at KEMBA Live for the We Are Change Rally! With a theme of "What's Your Real!" we're encouraging over 1,200 Ohio youth to embrace their authentic selves and make a positive difference in their communities and beyond.
Working with CarolineINSPIRES and our OYLPN Statewide Youth Council, this event will showcase the collective power of Ohio's youth to drive change in social and political cultures and systems. The OYLPN Youth Council has lined up awesome guests, and there will be plenty of pizza, snow cones, snacks, and fun to fuel the energy of our young change-makers.
OYLPN will also be honoring an inspiring community-minded young person with the Marisa Smock Spirit Award. This accolade celebrates the legacy of an original youth council member and leader who embodied connection, belonging, and inclusiveness at the heart of youth-led prevention.
Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to connect your youth with like-minded individuals and tap into their inner power to make a difference!
The We Are Change Rally is made possible through partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
405 Neil Avenue
Travel stipends are available to help cover the cost of travel to the We Are Change Rally. These are available on a first- come, first-served basis. Click below for more information and to access the application.
The Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network was built on the idea that creating a network of strong connections between prevention programs would strengthen youth-led programming in Ohio. A core piece to developing these connections was to bring together young people from groups across the state to serve as the Youth Council. This Youth Council would build strong ties as a group and help make connections with other young people across the state. The “We Are Change” Rally, formerly "We Are The Majority", was one of the youth council's first ideas to bring people together and create connections.
The inaugural Youth Council was made up of nine high school students that were engaged with their local youth-led prevention groups. One of these inaugural members was Marisa Smock. Marissa served on the youth council in its first three years as a Youth Advisory Board representative for Youth to Youth. She was integral in planning the original We Are The Majority Rally each year. But her ability to connect was more important than any planning she did. Marisa was outgoing and energetic, with an infectious smile and a big laugh that made it extremely easy for anyone to bond with her. She always made it her responsibility to make everyone feel like they belonged. These characteristics made her a leader in youth-led prevention.
Marisa passed away from an asthma attack when she was 19 during her first year in college. The Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network has embarked on a tradition each year, honoring Marisa’s legacy by giving this award to a young person in the state of Ohio who embodies her same characteristics.
Though Marisa is no longer physically with us, nominees of this award should demonstrate her same positivity, passion for prevention, uncanny ability to make others feel like they belong, enthusiasm for leadership, and ability to bring people together.
If you know a young person with these qualities and would like to nominate them for this award, please complete the application form using the link below by April 21st, 2023.
Prevention Action Alliance | 6145409985 | email@example.com