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Youth Coalition

Power of Putnam Youth Thrive Ambassadors Joined 440 Youth Leaders at the 2017 Tennessee Teen Institute

Jackson, TN – Students from Cookeville, Tennessee joined 440 youth leaders from across the state at the Tennessee Teen Institute. The Tennessee Teen Institute is a five-day youth leadership and prevention camp sponsored by the Jackson Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (JACOA). This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Teen Institute Program in Tennessee. The program addresses teen issues such as bullying, violence, suicide, teen pregnancy, distracted driving, teen health and substance abuse prevention through a five-day, peer-led prevention camp designed to provide teen participants with the skills and education necessary to develop and implement alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs in their own communities. This is a comprehensive program that trains, mobilizes and empowers youth to prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and self destructive behaviors in themselves and their peers. TTI prepares students to not only make positive changes, but to be proud advocates of those changes. Students will have the opportunity to grow and learn as individuals, while enhancing their leadership abilities. Because TTI is peer-led, teens are given a unique opportunity to have a “voice” in addressing issues important to them. Giving youth some ownership in this type of program is one of the key factors in the success of enforcing a substance free lifestyle.

June 18-23th, TTI 2017 hosted approximately 440 teen leaders, adult advisors, and TTI staff. Power of Putnam Thrive Student Ambassador’s left motivated not only to make healthy decisions in their own lives, but also committed to work so that others are making healthy decisions as well.

Mission statement for Power of Putnam is:
“To partner with the diverse elements of Putnam County in a united substance prevention effort designed to empower individuals, strengthen families, and build character and resiliency resulting in drug-free children and youth.”



Bailey Dillon

Nicole Atkins

Maya Rao

Carolyn Ciotti

Matthew Davis

Talisha Torres

An Nguyen

Isabella Ordores

Jonathan Mendez

Katie Ehrenfeld



kNOw Power

Giving teens the power to say “NO!”


Did You KNOW…

  • 74 percent of students have used alcohol by the time they graduate high school.

  • 30 percent of 12th graders have tried alcohol before age 15.

  • 22 percent of high school students drink alcohol once a month.

  • Alcohol-related teen deaths are higher in Putnam County than in Tennessee — 9.7 per 100,000 teens in Putnam County versus 9.3 per 100,000 teens in Tennessee.

In fact, only 51 percent of high school students in Putnam County believe it is “very wrong” to drink. That is the same percentage who also believe it is “very wrong” to skip school; thus they equate underage drinking with skipping school.

Here’s What Power of Putnam Is Doing:

In addition to implementing environmental strategies to reduce youth’s access to drugs and alcohol and educating community members in the best ways to prevent their use, Power of Putnam is involved in a campaign to enlist students as leaders in the movement to prevent the damaging effects of alcohol and drug use as well as other destructive decisions.

Here’s What YOU Can Do:

Talk to Us – If you’re concerned about issues in your school and wondering what you can do about it, send us a message.

Invite Us – Talk to your teachers or administrators to see if Power of Putnam can come to your school or class.

Join Us – Are you a leader? The Power of Putnam Youth Coalition meets regularly to plan events and activities that impact students throughout the county. Youth coalition leaders will receive benefits such as development trainings, service opportunities, and invitations to special events and annual leadership and empowerment conferences.

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