MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Charlottesville-native Minuette Goin will serve as one of four junior staff leaders for Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s 39th annual Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project. Goin is a student at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton who has participated in YADAPP for four years.

“YADAPP has helped me to become more aware of the dangers of substance abuse, its signs and some of the ways that we can combat it as a team,” said Goin. “YADAPP has helped me to connect with more people and expanded my leadership skills. It has given me a network of people who share my beliefs.” 

This year’s program begins with a conference at Longwood University in Farmville from July 17-21. Participation requires the registration of a team of four high school students and one adult sponsor. 

During the conference, students attend topical workshops, hear from well-known motivational speakers, learn peer leadership and prevention best practices and develop a Strategies To Act Now (STAN) Plan to address substance use among their peers. Teams compete for $250 mini-grants to use as seed money for their STAN Plan and the $500 Wheeler Award to sustain their continued prevention efforts.

“It is exciting to see students involved in YADAPP grow and develop over the years to have increased knowledge of substance use prevention, increased confidence and increased commitment to staying substance-free,” said Virginia ABC Director of Education and Prevention Katie Crumble.

Enrollment is open until June 1 and costs $600 per team. The fee includes conference materials, lodging and meals, as well as yearlong coaching and support for adult sponsors as they aid their team in implementing its STAN Plan throughout the school year. 

High school students who participate in the YADAPP kick-off conference can network with young leaders like Goin, who has participated in previous conferences. For more information, please contact the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority at (804) 977-7740 or visit here.