Friday Night Live Advocacy Day celebrates the power of youth

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By McKenna Carrion-Clifford
Special to the Express

Friday Night Live (FNL) programs across California are celebrating the work of young people at the forefront of creating positive community changes and uplifting youth voices. Friday, April 22 marks the third annual FNL Advocacy Day — a day devoted to shining a light on FNL programs and current youth-led campaigns throughout the state.

The Friday Night Live program began in 1984 specifically dedicated to reducing underage impaired driving. Through the success and expansion of the program, implementation has evolved to also address broader youth-identified issues through evidence-based youth development principles and practices. The program is driven by positive youth-adult partnerships that build powerful community actions to create lasting impacts in the lives of young people and their families.

Today, Friday Night Live programs are implemented in 50 counties in California, with nearly 600 chapters in schools, community centers, local agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The FNL structure provides programs and leadership opportunities for youth of varying ages.

Friday Night Live Kids (FNLK) is focused on students in grades four through six, Club Live (CL) is geared toward middle school-aged youth, Friday Night Live Mentoring (FNLM) provides peer-to-peer mentoring between high school-aged youth and middle school-aged youth, Friday Night Live works in partnership with high school-aged youth, and the California Youth Council (CYC), is a statewide cabinet of FNL leaders. FNL strongly believes that a youth development framework, which is inclusive, comprehensive, youth-driven, and founded on current research, will improve the lives of young people and the communities in which they live.

In our community, young people are working to build positive social norms and reduce youth access to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Winters High School FNL chapter is excited to celebrate FNL Advocacy Day with the community by hosting a booth at Winters Youth Day on Saturday, April 30 to promote their educational campaign “Revoke the Smoke” and surveying Winters residents about how flavored tobacco products and outdoor second-hand smoke affects their community. This day marks an ongoing effort by local youth to have Winters City Council adopt an ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in the City of Winters which will reduce youth access to them.

Winters High School FNL youth are leading an effort to make their community smoke and tobacco free and inviting adult partners and decision makers to join them in ending the burden of flavored tobacco in their community. Together, youth and adult partners in Friday Night Live will continue to build healthier communities for all.

For more information, contact Yolo County Friday Night Live at 530-666-8715. For information about FNL programs at the statewide level, visit fridaynightlive.tcoe.org and connect with the CFNLP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

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