The Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network engages youth and youth-led organizations across Ohio to prevent drug use and addiction, teach their peers the importance of self-care, and promote positive mental health. OYLPN was created by youth for youth to create a community of like-minded teens who want to be part of a solution. More than 150 organizations have joined OYLPN since its creation in 2011 by Prevention Action Alliance with funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
To ensure that youth lead the efforts of OYLPN, an OYLPN Youth Council was created to engage youth voices in behavioral health. The OYLPN Youth Council consists of up to 25 high school students from every region of our state. Every year, the OYLPN Youth Council:
- Organizes and leads the We Are The Majority Rally to raise awareness about the fact that most youth do not use drugs.
- Meets with legislators to advocate for youth-led prevention and the promotion of mental health wellness.
- Empowers teens across the state to take a stand for their communities.
- Promotes protective factors in their peers lives to help prevent drug use.
The OYLPN Youth Council allows youth to make a real difference in the lives of teens across Ohio, develop their leadership, public speaking, and advocacy skills and build relationships with other teens dedicated to making our world a better place.
If you’d like to apply to be on the OYLPN Youth Council, click here to apply.
Meet the Youth Council
“My Name is Abby Turner. I’m a senior at Unioto High school in Ross county. I found out about the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network’s Youth Council by attending the We Are the Majority Rally when I was a sophomore. After attending the Rally, I decided the Youth Council was something I wanted to be apart of and I applied. Not only have a learned a lot, but it’s helped shape me into the person I’m becoming and helped me decide I’d like to go farther into prevention at some point.”
Abby is a second year Youth Council member who has been active in many of the Youth Council’s events this year, including innovative research into Ohio’s youth vaping rates through the coordination of focus groups in Youth Council member communities. Abby is also an avid supporter of suicide prevention and is certified in Mental Health First Aid.
“I love anything to do with animals, and every year I show my chickens, horses, and guinea pigs at our county fair. I’m also in love with the Japanese language, and I’m hoping to study Japanese in college. OYLPN is such an amazing and important part of my life I can’t imagine not being involved next year. I have learned great leadership skills and I’ve been able to break out of my shell. Having the experience of OYLPN under my belt is something I’m incredibly grateful for!”
Miranda Kochur is a 17-year-old senior at Perry High School in Stark County and a second year OYLPN Youth Council member and is also active in her home group, Stark County Youth-Led Prevention, which is part of Drug-Free Stark County and Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery. Miranda and fellow Youth Council member Katie Doll are both certified in QPR, an evidence-based approach to suicide prevention.
“Hello, my name is Caitlyn Robinson. I’m 18 years old, currently a senior, where I attend Pickerington High School Central. It has been an honor to serve on the OYLPN youth council for 3 years now! OYLPN has helped me discover my passion for effective prevention in my community, helped me find my voice, and provided me with the tools in helping to create the change I’ve always wanted to create in this world today. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and writing, volunteering in my community, and making people smile! After high school, I plan to continue my education in communication and journalism studies.”
Caitlyn is also a member of Youth2Youth International and has helped to facilitate focus groups in central Ohio to help Youth Council research the reasons behind youth vaping in Ohio.
“My name is Sarah Ladipo and I’m proud to have been apart of OYLPN. I’ve learned a lot from my time at OYLPN. Throughout the year I learned to advocate for what is important to me and to give a platforms to pivotal issues. From what I gained at OYLPN I will go on to stand up for what I believe in and fight for what’s right.”
Sarah is a 17-year-old senior at Pickerington High School Central and a first-year Youth Council member. After graduation, Sarah will attend Ohio University on a full-ride scholarship and plans to major in philosophy. In addition to helping to plan this year’s We Are the Majority Rally, Sarah also facilitated focus groups in the Columbus area as a part of Youth Council’s research project into youth vaping.
“My name is Katie Doll and I’m 18 years old. I am a senior at Perry High School in Stark County. I love reading and studying French, I even went to France this past June! Being a part of OYLPN has given me an amazing group of friends as well as the tools to help my peers.”
Katie is a second year Youth Council member whose passion for behavioral health advocacy led her to participate in CADCA’s Capitol Hill Day in Washington D.C. last spring. Along with peers in her home group of Stark County Youth-Led Prevention (SCYLP), Katie also advocated for suicide prevention during SPCA’s Ohio Legislative Day in February. SCYLP is part of Drug-Free Stark County and Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Services.
“My name is Samuel Farmer, I was born and raised in Belmont, Ohio and attend Union Local High School. There I serve as the sophomore class president, as well as the co-leader of my school’s youth led prevention group. From a young age I have had a passion for traveling and music, but this past year I have become interested in more activities such as, golfing, throwing discus, Future Farmers of America, and last but not least becoming an advocate for youth led prevention. I have always had a desire to help people, and through this program my group and I have been given the opportunity to do just that.”
Samuel is 16 years old and a first-year member of the Youth Council. Along with fellow Youth Council members Abby Turner, Katie Doll, and Miranda Kochur, Samuel recently participated as a youth facilitator at the annual OYLPN Youth-Led Summit to help youth participants build skills in strategic planning.
“My name is Jaimee Booth and I am a senior at Fort Hayes High School in Columbus, Ohio. I am extremely active in the community with my primary focus being mental health, drug prevention, and diversity awareness. I also love theatre and dance. I have been in several school plays and musicals. One of my main passions is Japanese language studies. [Over the summer, I] returned from an amazing study abroad trip to Japan. For fun I enjoy hanging out with my friends and doing make-up. I am honored to be on the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network Youth Council 2018/2019.”
Jaimee is a first year Youth Council member and was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Office of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther after being named one of Columbus’s 20 community service leaders under the age of 20 last October.