Virginia ABC awards grant to Franklin County teens in support of youth leadership efforts to prevent substance use

Roanoke Valley News

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WAVY/WFXR) – The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) gave a $500 grant to a group of Franklin County teens to support their efforts to educate teachers, parents, and community leaders about the concealed use of vape products, drugs, and alcohol.

The grant was a part of the Wheeler Award which is given annually to a school or organization participating in Virginia ABC’s Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP).

The award recognizes ingenuity and successful completion of plans developed by student teams from all over the state who take part in the year-long YADAPP program, ABC officials said in a news release on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

The Wheeler Award which was established in 1986, honors Morris and Billie Wheeler for their dedication to youth substance use prevention. The Wheelers’ daughter Sandy was killed by a drunk driver in 1981.

For more than 30 years the Wheelers supported the prevention efforts of Virginia ABC and other organizations to promote youth leadership and prevent drunk driving, Virginia ABC said.

The Franklin County team, Communities Helping Improve Local Lives (CHILL) Coalition Team 2, was concerned about the drug and alcohol use they saw daily and created a prevention strategy to educate parents and teachers about products on the market and what to look for in their homes and classrooms.

“As other recipients of the Wheeler Award before them, the Communities Helping Improve Local Lives Team 2 is inspiring,” said Travis Hill, Virginia ABC chief executive officer.

The team said they will use the grant money to sustain and further prevention efforts during this school year.

Virginia ABC also named five YADAPP teams who participated in the YADAPP 2020 program winners of mini-grants for their STAN Plans.

Schools or organizations represented by the student teams will receive $250 to support their substance use prevention efforts.

“We value our community partners who through the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program work each year to secure a safe and drug-free environment for Virginia youth. We want all students to achieve personal success and continue to build stronger communities and peer networks,” said Hill.

Virginia ABC said the mini-grant recipients include teams representing the following schools and communities:

  • Battlefield High School in Prince William County
  • C. D. Hylton High School in Prince Prince William County
  • Henrico High School in Henrico County
  • Heritage High School the City of Newport News
  • Virginia Beach Mayor’s Youth Leaders in Action in the City of Virginia Beach

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