Start Talking! Start Recording: Ohio’s Youth Got Talent

Win Free Tickets to Cedar Point or King’s Island

We’re pleased to announce that Cedar Point and King’s Island are providing up to 20 free pairs of tickets to talented youth who compete in Start Talking! Start Recording: Ohio’s Youth Got Talent. Just email a 5-minute video of you performing your talent to for a chance to win tickets and one of three scholarship prizes totaling $5,000. The tickets will be raffled off among all contestants.

Deadline Extended

To give more students a chance to enter and win a pair of tickets to either King’s Island or Cedar Point, we’re extending the deadline to March 14. Be sure to follow these three instructions:

  • Read the rest of the rules below.
  • Upload a 5-minute video of you or your group performing your talent to YouTube and change the privacy settings to unlisted.
  • Email a link of your video to

Guidelines and Announcement

Prevention Action Alliance, in partnership with the Ohio Start Talking! initiative and through a grant from Verizon, invite Ohio middle and high school students to keep their peers drug free by participating in the Start Talking! Start Recording: Ohio’s Youth Got Talent. If you are an Ohio middle school or high school student who has a creative talent and is looking to earn money for college, this opportunity is perfect for you.


Interested youth can read the guidelines below and submit a video of their talent promoting the Start Talking! message. The top 3 finalists will get to perform live on stage at the We Are The Majority Rally on April 19, 2018. There, the crowd will vote for their favorite performance and select the winners of the Ohio’s Youth Got Talent contest.

All finalists will receive scholarships through a College Advantage Direct 529 Savings Plan account. Scholarships will be awarded to the top 3 contestants, with first place receiving $2,500, second receiving $1,500, and third receiving $1,000. If the talent involves a group, the award will be split evenly between them.

The goal of Start Talking! is to help parents, caregivers and teachers to start conversations with Ohio youth about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. To participate in this video contest, students will tap their creativity and produce videos that offer tips on how to get those conversations going. Students may work as individuals or in teams and must have a teacher, parent, or caregiver be responsible for the supervision of the teens but not create the video. All communication will be sent to the teacher/advisor by electronic mail.

Teachers, parents, and other adult allies are also invited to help promote the contest and get their youth involved by sharing the announcement video above and our official contest flyer.

Talent Show Timeline:

January 9th – 2018 Submissions are open
March 14th – 2018 Submissions close
End of March – 2018 Top 3 finalists are selected
April 18th – 2018 Finalists arrive in Columbus and attend rehearsal
April 19th – 2018 WATM Rally

Talent Show Guidelines

All acts must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Include appropriate Start Talking! messaging, including encouraging adults and other youth to have frequent and honest conversations about the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse. For more information on Start Talking!, visit
  • You will have 5 minutes to perform. Videos over 5 minutes will not be considered. This time limit will be strictly enforced.
  • Your costume and props may be limited due to space and the outdoor nature of the WATM Rally. There will be no dressing room or green room for preparation before performance.
  • Your act must include original content only. You may also use the Creative Commons License.
  • Consider the limitations of the stage. The following are examples of appropriate acts, including but not limited to:
    • Spoken word (drama, poetry, etc.)
    • Singing/instrumental music
    • Magic
    • Ventriloquism
    • Rap
    • Step
    • Interpretive movement

Additionally, we will require the following of all talent show participants:

  • You are responsible for registering for the rally.
  • You must be able to attend a dress rehearsal tentatively scheduled for April 18th
  • A signed consent form for all participants must be submitted with videos. Click here to download the form.
  • Provide the name and email address of the advisor/teacher/parent/guardian who will be attending with you.

To enter:

  • Upload your video to YouTube as an unlisted video so that it cannot be searched without the link. For instructions on how to do that, visit
  • Submissions will be emailed via the advisor/teacher/parent/guardian with the link along with scanned copies of signed consent forms to You may also email this link with questions about the contest.
  • Video must be submitted no later than February 28th at 11:59pm. Any submission after this time will not be considered.
  • Talent videos submitted early that do not meet these guidelines may be notified and can resubmit for a second consideration, assuming all guidelines are met the second time.