In Worcester, youth members of the HOPE coalition have made tremendous impact on the substance abuse landscape. They’ve impacted local and statewide policy and continue to work on changing social norms.  When I met them last week they had just returned from educating representatives at the state house about e-cigarettes and suggesting improved legislators to help keep kids healthy.

I’m leading them through a process to develop an action plan for their coalition. We want the plan to reflect their interests, their passions and their beliefs.  We started with a series of short creative exercises to explore identity and to begin to understand what drives each person to be part of the coalition.  In the coming weeks we’ll use photography and book making to guide us in choosing issues for the coalition to address and in developing strategies for the coalition to employ.

You can see from the photos below that even through short exercises we were able to explore important issues of power, anger, influences and motivation.  It will be interesting to see the more individual explorations come together into a collective action plan in a few weeks.  Stay tuned!