Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Youth to Youth International: Youth to Youth

Youth to Youth (Y2Y) is a community-based drug prevention and youth leadership program focusing primarily on high school and younger students. Built on resiliency and asset development principles, this youth-led, adult-guided program is designed to harness the powerful influence of positive peer pressure to encourage students to live free of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. To achieve this goal, youth are recognized as powerful resources and are integrally involved in program planning and implementation.

Participation in the program begins with a four-day summer conference, convened at a local college campus, where youth attend interactive workshops as well as skill-building and discussion sessions. Students then participate in weekly meetings as part of a Youth Advisory Board (YAB), where they are endowed with real decision-making authority and receive training in effective prevention, substance abuse information, and public-speaking skills. Throughout the year, Y2Y participants develop their own innovative education presentations and workshops, which they then deliver in their schools and communities.

As participants in SAMHSA’s Service to Science initiative, program staff worked with evaluation technical assistance providers to develop a logic model and draft pre- and post-reflection YAB surveys to assess the short-term outcomes of the program. These include: alcohol, tobacco, and other drug knowledge; skill development, such as public speaking and teamwork; commitment to be alcohol-, tobacco-, and other drug-free; and involvement in facilitating environmental change.

SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity of Evidence-Based Interventions will provide the funding needed to strengthen Y2Y’s capacity to evaluate the effectiveness of its on-going, year-round prevention programming. Specifically, the following evaluation enhancements will allow staff to determine whether conference participation and involvement in the YAB contributes to maintaining drug-free status:

  • Fully implementing the pre- and post-reflection YAB surveys developed during participation in the Service to Science initiative and analyzing the results of the collected data
  • Analyzing data collected using the refined conference evaluations for 2012 and 2013 Y2Y summer training conferences
  • Developing, implementing, and analyzing data from a six-month follow-up survey to assess the impact of youth participation in YAB on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and abuse; key risk and protective factors, such as peer norms and beliefs, life skills, and knowledge; and perceptions of success in transitioning to adulthood


Jill Smock
Youth to Youth International
547 East 11th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43211
Phone: 614-224-4506