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WYN, Mountain Alliance & Watauga Schools Selected To Attend Training in New Mexico

A local collaboration between Western Youth Network (WYN), Mountain Alliance and Watauga County Schools will provide five local youth-serving professionals with an opportunity to be trained in the evidence-based curriculum Project Venture, March 6-9, in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM.

Project Venture aims to prevent substance use and related problems through problem-solving and skill-building activities, outdoor adventure-based experiential activities, adventure camps and treks, and community-oriented service learning.

A group of WYN youth pose at Upper Creek Falls after a day of hiking

Together, WYN, Mountain Alliance and Watauga County Schools formed a team of five youth-serving professionals who were chosen by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to participate in the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED).  NNEDLearn creates opportunities for community-based organizations to learn and implement evidence-based, adapted, and culturally-specific behavioral health practices.

“By adopting Project Venture you are joining a new community of youth workers willing to implement a program that is not ‘canned’, but requires creativity and dedication not usually found in other models,” Founder Mac Hall said.

WYN strives to build youth of confidence and character so that every young person in the High Country reaches their full potential.  Through the use of outdoor adventures, experiential education, service learning projects and team building, WYN works to strengthen self-awareness, leadership and social skills among middle school youth.

Mountain Alliance takes a break from their adventure at Worley’s Cave in Tennessee.
Mountain Alliance takes a break from their adventure at Worley’s Cave in Tennessee.

Similarly, Mountain Alliance provides high school-aged youth in Watauga County with opportunities to explore and develop their leadership potential through experiential learning.  By working closely with Watauga High School, Mountain Alliance connects students to a support structure and caring community to provide positive opportunities outside of school.

According to the program, traditional American Indian values are used to help youth develop positive self-concept, effective social interaction skills, and a community service ethic, internal locus of control, and increased decision making and problem-solving skills. The team, made up of Watauga County Schools’ Prevention Counselor, two WYN staff and two Mountain Alliance staff will be trained to implement this unique program to hundreds of Watauga County youth.

If you would like more information about Project Venture, Western Youth Network, or Mountain Alliance, please contact Hollie Storie at 828.264.5174.