Ta'ita'itama launches Youth in Action Leadership Council 2011-2012
a'ita'itama (Prevent Underage Drinking Initiative) Youth-In-Action Leadership 2011-12 Program's official launch took place last Saturday morning at the Gov. Rex H. Lee Auditorium, with opening remarks by TTT & Boys and Girls Clubs of American Samoa Chairperson, First Lady Mary Ann T. Tulafono.
The purpose of the program, according to a media release from TTT, is to establish the Territorial level TTT Youth-In-Action Leadership 2011-2012 Council, which will focus on social issues affecting youth, specifically alcohol and tobacco use.
The goal is to empower and support high school students as Youth Advocates with the appropriate skills, knowledge and attitude to serve as certified Peer Leaders in substance abuse prevention.
The council comprises Student Body Officers from twelve public and private high schools serving as representatives of the territory's high school population. They are: Fa'asao Marist High School, Faga'itua High School, Kanana Fou High School, Leone High School, Manu'a High School, Manumalo Baptist High School, Nu'uuli Voc-Tech High School, Pacific Horizons School, Samoana High School, SDA Iakina Adventist Academy, South Pacific Academy and Tafuna High School.
(SDA Iakina Adventist Academy representatives were the only ones not able to attend the launch because of their Sabbath Day.)
Collaborating Partners of the TTT YAL program are the Department of Education, Department of Human and Social Services, Department of Health, Criminal Justice Planning Agency, Department of Public Safety and the American Samoa Community College GEAR UP program.
The TTT YAL program is set to run from Nov. 19 - March 30, 2012.
In her special remarks, the First Lady noted that the TTT program, this year, is committed "to investing in youth leadership - a program that will help you become better skilled and well equipped to serve as student leaders - role models that your peers can look up to. Beginning today, all... of you... will comprise the youth leadership council that will serve as an advisory body to the TA'ITA'ITAMA Executive Board...You are the "youth voice" that needs to be heard... We want to work with you, all of you as a unified youth council at a territorial level, to identify problems or challenges that are facing students today. Further, we want to work with you to discuss, communicate and solve problems together - as a youth leadership council."
Master of Ceremonies for the occasion was Tupua Roy Fua (Director, ASCC Gear Up Program and Executive Director, Ta'ita'itama Boys & Girls Clubs of American Samoa), with Invocation by Ipu Avegalio Lefiti (Member, Ta'ita'itama Executive Board).
The official program launch included Youth Council and staff introductions, the "Challenge" presentation, and School "Gift" presentations of $1,000 per participating school.