Alamance County Youth Advisory Council
The Alamance County Youth Advisory Council (ACYAC) was formed in July of 2007. Comprised of approximately twelve students representing all local high schools, the primary purpose of ACYAC is for youth to advocate for the needs of other youth specifically addressing the problem of underage drinking. Utilizing their training on advocacy, public speaking, substance abuse, parliamentary procedures, communication and media literacy, they serve as peer leaders and educators targeting parents, other youth and the community in general. They were recently awarded the Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award from Alamance County’s Community Council, a component of United Way.
ACYAC has conducted a number of activities including planning and organizing a Take It Back Town Hall Meeting, providing skill building workshops for students at the annual Middle School Teen Summit, and presenting at the N.C. Parent Network’s Annual Meeting with over 100 substance abuse professionals in attendance. In addition, ACYAC presents at the Student Athlete Summer Institute for local and regional high school athletes and conducts Train the Trainer programs for the local high school Dream Teams (student athletes who pledge to not use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs). ACYAC is also very involved in the Prom Promise Campaign by developing posters and public service announcements at their respective high schools.
ACYAC engages in advocacy efforts by writing letters and making phone calls to their state representatives about their concerns and support of keeping the legal drinking age to 21. ACYAC members recently contacted members of the House of Representatives Health Committee advocating for an increase in the beer tax, a method that reduces consumption by price sensitive underage drinkers.
ACYAC is guided by adult leaders representing the Alamance County Public Health Department, Burlington Housing Authority, Alamance-Caswell Local Management Entity and The Community Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking.
ACYAC members have a passion to make a difference in their families, schools and communities through their commitment to be substance free and role models for their peers and younger siblings. These trained and motivated youth are learning the unique qualities to become strong leaders as they grow and move out into our workforce and society. Interested high school students are welcomed to visit ACYAC meetings and become council members.