On March 19, KYCC’s Youth Drug Abuse Prevention Program (YDAPP) hosted the “High, It’s Me” Youth Conference at Vista Charter Middle School. Over 60 high school students attended the event to explore their identities and find natural ways of getting “high” through different forms of arts.

An assessment in 2012 showed that 50% of youth participants had access to various drugs from their peers. At the conference, YDAPP educated youth on methods to increase self-awareness and learn different means of self-expression through activities and workshops. Students learned the fundamentals of theater, dance, art and spoken word from experts in Los Angeles.

“My girls completely enjoyed it and would like to be a part of another conference,” said Brenda Villanueva, Prevention Specialist at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). “Their parents came up to me the next day talking about how much their daughters enjoyed and how much they learned and benefitted from it.”

All participants pledged to YDAPP’s #WEEDecide campaign to not partake in marijuana.

YDAPP was established in September of 1996 by the High School Korean American Youth Leadership Program Summer Class of ’96. Today, YDAPP consists of students from 7 different schools in LAUSD. The 10-months long leadership program (funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse and Prevention and Control division) trains youth advocates to raise awareness among Koreatown, Pico-Union, Westlake youth about the risks of substance abuse.