The Anchorage Youth Development Coalition's Strength of Our Youth projects will prevent and reduce underage drinking through environmental strategies, including implementing social norms media advocacy and advancing underage drinking prevention policies. AYDC education strategies involve youth, community members, and decision-makers in town hall forums. AYDC will build community capacity to promote protective factors to prevent underage drinking.
Strength of Our Youth goals are: to reduce underage alcohol use among youth, and over time among adults, by implementing evidence-based programs to reduce risk factors and promote protective factors associated with underage alcohol use; and to increase coalition capacity and collaboration among community agencies and Federal, State, and Tribal governments to reduce high-risk behaviors among youth that may contribute to substance use.
AYDC will serve Anchorage, AK, with an emphasis on preventing access to and use of alcohol among youth ages 12-20. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2017), Anchorage is home to 294,356 residents, with 24.5% of the population between the ages of 6 and 17 years old. Anchorage demographics are 64.5% white, 12.4% Asian or Pacific Islander, 8.8% Alaska Native or Native American, 8.2% multiracial, 9.2% Latino, 6% black. According to Anchorage School District data (2017) the district serves nearly 46,000 students, with 17,752 middle and high school students. Through our social norms campaign, we will reach more than 10,000 middle and high school student annually and will reflect the diversity of our community.
The publication "Alaska's Strategies to Prevent Underage Drinking" calls for an increase in protective factors in order to increase resilience and decrease likelihood of underage drinking, including: cultural identity and connection, positive connection to supportive adults, engagement in meaningful activities, life skills and social competence. AYDC will reduce risk factors for underage drinking by also involving community members and decision-makers to advance policy change.
AYDC is a program of the Alaska Injury Prevention Center doing business as Center for Safe Alaskans. AYDC was previously funded by SAMHSA Drug Free Communities Grants under the fiscal sponsorship of United Way of Anchorage (2005-2015).