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Kansas Youth Joining Together To Reduce Substance Use and Promote Safe Driving

Kansas Family Partnership (KFP) will host more than 160 high school students and adult advisors from 15 Kansas counties during the 13th annual Kansas Youth Leadership Summit (KYLS), August 3-5, at Rock Springs 4-H Center, 1168 Highway K-157, Junction City. KYLS is a program sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) that focuses on reducing underage alcohol and drug use and encouraging safety belt use and safe driving behavior among Kansas youth. KYLS is open to teams of incoming high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors from any Kansas community.

“During the summit, teams of youth and adults will create action plans to address alcohol and drug use as well as to promote safety belt use and safe driving behavior in their communities,” said Maria Torrez Anderson, KFP Program Director. “KYLS workshops will motivate and train participants to serve as catalysts of positive change in their communities. As a result, participants will improve their communities, expand their leadership skills and meet other teen leaders from across Kansas.”

Through interactive sessions and skill-building activities, KYLS participants will explore new ways to deal with critical issues facing teens and communities today, including alcohol and drug availability, perception of harm, community social norms, family attitudes, binge drinking, marijuana use, crash dynamics and more.

“It is crucial for Kansas youth to understand the dangers of substance use and poor driving behavior, and one of the best ways to provide that message is by allowing teens to educate one another,” said Chris Bortz, KDOT Traffic Safety Manager. “KYLS provides participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to inform their peers with the right messages and impact the decisions they make in the future.”

Bill Cordes, nationally-known motivational speaker and author who presents to more than 70,000 students, teachers and businesses annually, will lead the summit. KYLS participants will also hear from Topeka native Joe White, a young adult who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of underage drinking. See the summit schedule for a complete list of sessions, speakers and times.

Teams attending KYLS are from Bennington High School, Burlington High School, The City Teen Center (Salina), Holton High School, Miracles, Inc. and CLASS-Urban League of Kansas (Wichita), Mulvane High School, Norwich High School, Osage City High School, Peabody-Burns High School, Reno County Communities That Care (Hutchinson), Rossville High School, Solomon High School, Sumner County Community Drug Action Team, Inc. (Wellington), Wabaunsee High School (Alma), Wetmore High School, Women Empowerment, Inc. (Topeka), and Wyandotte County (Kansas City, KS).

For more information about KYLS, visit www.kansasfamily.com or call Torrez Anderson at 1.800.206.7231. Find KFP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kansasfamily and Twitter @KsFamilyPartner.

Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is a state agency that provides a statewide transportation system to meet the needs of Kansas. KDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology, Traffic Safety Section, works to improve the quality of life for the traveling public by reducing the number of motor vehicle fatalities, injuries and crashes on the roadways in Kansas. The section influences human behavior by identifying problems and implementing effective educational and enforcement programs.

Kansas Family Partnership, Inc. (KFP) is a statewide nonprofit that promotes safe and healthy youth, families and communities by connecting them with substance abuse prevention education, networks and resources. KFP provides drug prevention programs for youth, coordinates statewide drug awareness campaigns and a drug prevention material clearinghouse, supports prevention providers and treatment professionals, and informs lawmakers about sound drug policy. KFP is the statewide coordinator of the Kansas Youth Leadership Summit (KYLS), the Family Day Campaign, the Red Ribbon Campaign and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

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