Georgia Young Adult Program
The mission of the Georgia Young Adult Program is to promote education and awareness to young adults about highway safety issues, such as but not limited to; underage drinking, impaired driving, destructive decisions, and other high-risk behaviors, in order to decrease crashes, injuries, and fatalities. This program is achieved by training peer-educators, providing educational programs to the schools, and funding students to participate in area, state, and national highway safety related conferences.
GEORGIA YOUNG ADULT PROGRAM
This mission of the YA programs to the school, community and local high schools, as well as funding students to participate in area, state, and national highway safety related conferences. GYAP is implemented in colleges and universities statewide, targeting young adults 18-24 years of age. The overall goal for this program is to decrease the number of fatalities from motor vehicle crashes, since the number one cause of death in the U.S. for this population results from motor vehicle crashes. It is a peer education program for colleges and universities in the state of Georgia that focuses on the following issues:
• Alcohol education
• Alcohol abuse prevention
• Impaired driving
• Underage drinking
• Safety belts
• Risk reductions
• Other destructive decisions
Addressing these issues are achieved by developing and maintaining quality peer educators, resources that promote and support learning, and a caring environment that encourages peers to discuss and develop responsible habits, attitudes and lifestyles regarding alcohol and related issues. These achievements are parallel to those promoted through BACCHUS & GAMMA peer education network.
“BACCHUS” is an acronym for Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students and “GAMMA” is an acronym for Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol.
Because the problems of alcohol-impaired driving have the potential to affect all motorists, the target population of the motoring public is to include young, inexperienced drivers ages 16-24.
There has been a request for program ideas and activities that other schools do in order to complete their program objective for the GOHS grant. The objectives states: Provide educational opportunities involving at least 50% of student population on the effects of alcohol and highway issues by the end of the school year. Therefore, below is a list of programs, ideas, and activities that other schools have done or suggested.
• Presentations/Speakers: Money is in your budget to pay for a speaker. However, there is also Chris Sandy who is free! In addition, you could get a student panel of speakers discussing different aspects of alcohol/substance abuse and driving, or personal stories. Remember the biggest part of this is advertising the event to the student population at least 2 weeks prior to the event. It is also a good idea to have teachers on your side to encourage the students to attend by getting extra credit if they do so.
• Designated Driver Program: I know not all students want to give up their weekend nights, but a successful program that UGA has created is called the ‘Watchdawgs’. The Watchdawgs are a volunteer group who drive student’s home on the weekends if a designated driver is needed. They have a location on Friday and Saturday night downtown, where students go if a ride is needed. Perhaps your school already has something like this? Then work with them because this would be an excellent opportunity to hand out educational brochures on drinking and driving, and other highway safety issues…Don’t forget to include some of the GOHS campaigns (Click It or Ticket, Operation Zero Tolerance, 100 Days of Summer HEAT)!!!
• ‘The GOHS Spot’: Of course you would put your name in the place of GOHS. For an example, if your name is the DIVAS, you would have ‘The DIVA Spot’. This would simply be a table or booth that you set up in a prime location on campus before a big event. You can create a game to give away incentives and of course have handouts on alcohol education and highway safety issues.
• Roll-Over Event, Fatal Vision, and Driving Simulator: For those at the Callaway Conference, you saw all of these programs. Remember to advertise ahead of time, place the event in a prime location and have your teachers and student workers help encourage students.
• Quarterly Flyer Campaign: Brainpower! Get together and create a flyer/poster that is relative to what is going on around campus or news. Create a catchy saying or slogan…get the attention of the students!
• Alcohol Free Tailgate: This is always a great idea before any sporting event…weather it’s football or a weekend track meet! This is a great opportunity to set up a booth, hand out information, and just talk with the students about issues in their lives or on campus.
• Community Coalition: It is important for the key stakeholders in the community to be involved with the alcohol/drug, highway safety, and the other issues that are on campus and in the community. Therefore, a coalition is a smart way to brainstorm the issues and come up with ideas on how to solve them. This group could meet once a year and the goal from the meeting would be to create task force groups to accomplish certain goals.
• Summer Orientation: Many schools get involved with this by putting on a creative skit for the incoming students. This gives you a chance to get your program’s name out there and also a great way to RECRUIT new students!! Getting students when they’re in their first year is the best way!
• MADD videos: Contact the national MADD office and have them come to your school to present a video on drinking and driving. This is a great presentation and I would encourage mass advertising before presenting this. If you were at the Callaway conference this past October, we presented it on the three big screens and it is only worth MADD coming all the way out there if you have at least 200 students to present it too.
CURRENT GRANTEE SCHOOLS
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC)
Clayton State University
East Georgia State College
Fort Valley State University
Georgia Southwestern State University
Kennesaw State University
University of North Georgia
University of West Georgia
Valdosta State University