Ohio Adult Allies


The Regional Learning Collaborative is a component of the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network’s (OYLPN) Ohio Adult Allies initiative. Regional Learning Collaborative (RLC) Leaders are adults who work with high school youth and are dedicated to supporting other adults working to empower youth and impact community-level change.


RLC leaders have experience guiding young people to create change in their local environments and are passionate about building healthy communities across Ohio. Annually, each region hosts a variety of virtual and/or in-person events and creates opportunities to increase knowledge and skill capacity around youth-led programming and support the development of a network of professionals dedicated to improving and promoting effective prevention science and youth empowerment.

Regional Learning Collaboratives
Northwest Ohio Region
Healthy Choices Caring Communities

RLC Leadership:

  • Beth Thomas, MSW, OCPS
  • Robin Willson, OCPSA
  • Events:
    • April 20, 2022 (Virtual)
      • Playing with Purpose… the ONE thing! – Attendees will learn and share information on the resources available to use the concept of Playing with Purpose to serve as a firm foundation for building a youth led prevention program.
Northeast Ohio Region
Collaborative Learning Environment

RLC Leadership:

  • Karen Lackey, MSSA, LISW
  • Holly Jacobson, M.Ed., OCPC
  • Jennie Canganelli, M.Ed., OCPS
  • Events:
    • December – May 2022 (In-person / Virtual)*
      • On-site technical assistance and support – engage specific adult allies through the process of starting and running a true youth led program to empower and engage young people as change agents in their school and community.
    • May 2022 EoY Celebration (In-person)*
      • Connect CLE EoY celebration – bring adult allies together to celebrate successes and accomplishments, identify continued struggles, and next steps for our region.
Central Ohio Region
Youth to Youth International, Central

RLC Leadership:

  • Cheryl Sells, OCPC
  • Kevin Rigby, OCPS
  • Events
    • April 21, 2022 (Virtual) 10:00am-12:00pm
      • From Passion to Action: creating meaningful opportunities to engage youth. This meeting, participants will learn “real world” strategies proven in the field of youth-led prevention that you can incorporate into your programing.
Southwest Ohio Region
Youth at the Center

RLC Leadership:

  • Shawn Jeffers
  • Tynisha Worthy
  • Events:
    • April 12, 2022 (Virtual)
      • Deepening relationships & Collective Action, Part 2 – we will build on the previous topic by having a conversation about how do we measure positive change and how can we capture the time dedicated to building relationships before we jump into the work
Southeast Ohio Region
Impact Prevention

RLC Leadership:

  • Haley Shamblin
  • Mollie Stevens, OCPS
  • Events:
    • April 11, 2022 (In person)*
      • Team Relationships, Rapport, and Resume: Adult Allies will be asked to create a “resume” for their current team. They will evaluate strengths and areas to improve upon. They will learn strategies that they as an adult ally can use to encourage relationships and rapport between adult/students and student/students.
Appalachian Region
Appalachian Allies

RLC Leadership:

  • Wendy Ware, MS, OCPC
  • Sunessa D. Tollie, BA OCPSA
  • Christine McGill, MSW, CSW, LSW
  • Events: None at this time

* identifies date, time, and/or registration to be determined

Statewide Training Sessions

The Statewide Training Sessions will take a deeper dive into the Youth Empowerment Conceptual Framework (YECF) and the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF).

The YECF highlights the critical role of adult allies focusing on creating empowering settings in which young people can engage. The characteristics of effective adult allies include general respect for youth, active listening, being open-minded to ideas and approaches, and being relatable to the youth. The SPF is composed of five steps and two guiding principles that offer prevention planners a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing the substance misuse and related behavioral health problems facing their states and communities.


March: Belonging and Becoming: The Importance of Fostering Connections within Youth-Led Programming

April: Engaging Youth to Create Positive Change

May: From Empowerment to Action; the keys to a successful youth-led program

June: Utilizing the SPF to Sustain Change

* identifies date, time, and/or registration to be determined

The Ohio Adult Allies initiative is a multi-agency partnership between the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service at Ohio University and Prevention Action Alliance.