For the second year in a row, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the youth members of the Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force to develop an image related to the national Above the Influence campaign. This year the youth designed and made a colorful cut paper design that will be displayed on three billboards in Allston-Brighton (wow!), posters, banners and bumper stickers. The message is intended for youth between 9 and 11 years old.

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The process was fun for the youth who participated, and it adds anther component to the work that they do all year to reduce substance abuse in their neighborhoods. They provided some moving quotes about why they appreciated the project.

“I feel like I have the power to impact our community for the better.  Just being able to raise awareness and spread this idea of staying above the influence and hope into our community is rewarding within itself.  I just hope to spread awareness of a major problem in our community. [substance abuse] and get the discussion of solutions to this out there” – Julia Roberto

“It was a fun experience being able to express our ideas and creativity and to be a positive influence to the youth in our community.  I hope to make a difference and promote health decision making”

“I feel honored to be able to take part of this campaign because it makes me feel better morally as a person.  I hope youth will make better decisions after being more educated by us”- Beverly Ng

“It is exciting to know that I can make a difference in my community and be part of a national campaign to promote healthy decision making.  I hope to raise awareness about making healthy decisions and encouraging youth”- Michelle N

Here’s the beautiful image that they designed and prepared in only 2 hours!

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