The Community Partnership of the Ozarks has helped organize a group of Springfield high school students called 417SQUAD (Students Questioning Using and Abusing Drugs) who want to make a difference in their world.
Taking action, they partnered with the Violence Free Families Coalition (VFF) to help promote an awareness campaign about this issue. VFF had already placed ads to educate teens on the topic at the Battlefield Mall, a local hotspot for adolescents to hang out with friends.
To further educate themselves, 417SQUAD traveled to Jefferson City in March to attend the ACT Missouri Speak Hard conference. This conference is intended solely for youth from across the state to gather and learn about drug and violence prevention strategies as well as to network with their peers in Missouri. Six high school students from Springfield attended the conference and reported that they learned a great deal of information and are excited to implement new ideas here in Springfield!
417SQUAD will continue to meet throughout the summer to develop more prevention strategies for next year!