Youth Leadership Summit

February 4, 2020

Vaping, alcohol use, and social media bullying were some of the topics discussed by nearly 100 Portage County high school students during a Youth Leadership Summit organized by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and Townhall II. The event was facilitated by Joe Markiewicz, a national youth trainer.


The students analyzed local youth survey data and prioritized the risk factors that lead to problem behavior in youth such as substance abuse, mental health issues, and bullying. The students shared their concerns for their own school districts with the group.


They learned about protective factors that help buffer youth from risk. Markiewicz shared a list of 40 research-based, positive experiences and qualities that influence young people’s development, helping them become caring, responsible, and productive adults. The list includes assets such as family support, a caring school climate, creative activities, faith community, and a positive view of personal future.


Over time, studies of more than 5 million young people consistently show that the more assets that young people have, the less likely they are to have problems with alcohol & drug use, violence, and sexual activity.


The students developed action plans to increase the protective factors for the youth in their community to take back to their school for implementation.


“As children age, it becomes more effective for them to be involved and lead drug prevention efforts,” said John Garrity, PhD, executive director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board. “Youth-led prevention addresses the emotional and behavioral health of young adults. They are given a voice in planning, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation processes.”


High school students from Field, James A Garfield, Kent Roosevelt, Maplewood, Ravenna, Rootstown, Southeast, Streetsboro, and Windham participated.


“Our students left the Summit excited about their plans to get more students involved in the high school experience and create a more positive culture for everyone,” said Field High School teacher Beth Dyer. “We are hoping this includes more participation in clubs, after school activities, and volunteer opportunities.”


To help keep the students on track implementing their action plans, Townhall II will send a Youth-Led Prevention Specialist to meet with the students in their schools this spring.


“These students were absolutely amazing,” commented Sarah McCully, Prevention & Outreach Director at Townhall II. “Their enthusiasm made all of us in attendance feel so proud about the youth in this county.”

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Relapse Concerns during Pandemic - Treatment Available!

May 11, 2020

Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic

The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County funds services for Portage County residents through its network of agencies. Services help families, adults, teens and children with mental illness, depression, addictions, in crisis and at risk for suicide.


You can contact us via our contact form or follow us on social networks.

155 East Main St.
Kent OHIO 44240

P: 330-673-1756
F: 330-673-1330


  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

For 24 HR help in a crisis call:

Addiction: 330-678-3006

Mental Health: 330-296-3555

Copyright 2017 by Portage County MHRB - All Rights Reserved