Project H.A.P.P.Y. offers a two-pronged approach to peer-to-peer alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) prevention. Activities include a 36-hour weekend training for middle school students equipping them to become leaders in their respective schools for ATOD prevention and education, and the training of a high school peer leadership team.
The overarching goal of Project H.A.P.P.Y. is to educate adolescents on the consequences of substance use and involvement in high-risk behaviors as well as the development of positive coping skills. This is done from a variety of levels: First is the development of a youth leadership team. This is a group of high school students who are trained more in depth on substance abuse prevention, as well as creative ways to present that information to middle school participants. This group’s primary responsibility is to facilitate a 36-hour training for the middle school participants. The youth leadership team also presents to schools and groups throughout the year as well as being involved in community-wide substance abuse prevention efforts. Second, is the 36-hour training which instructs middle school youth in substance abuse prevention as well as the development of more positive alternatives to ATOD use. Thirdly, Family Resource Center Prevention Educators provide support and consultation for local “H.A.P.P.Y Clubs” at participating schools so as to encourage these students to become core leaders in their own school’s ATOD prevention efforts.
Targeted Population: Hancock County Middle School and High School Students
H.A.P.P.Y. training – 36 hours (one weekend)
H.A.P.P.Y. Club Activities – School year