Youth and young adults are at the center of Project Amp. From the early stages of design to training, delivery, research, and evaluation, our team prioritizes and elevates youth voice and leadership. Our commitment to the lived experiences, wisdom, and strengths of young people – especially young adults with lived experiences of recovery and resiliency – has helped to make Project Amp a unique, exciting, feasible, and powerful resource for youth well-being.
Substance use risk is one factor in a young person’s life, and Project Amp looks at the strengths and goals of the whole person. A person’s risk for substance use is influenced by many factors – from childhood trauma to family, social, and community contexts, racism and discrimination, and personal strengths, characteristics, challenges, goals, and hopes, including stress and mental health. Project Amp mentors take the time to get to know youth participants and guide the conversation toward their self-defined areas of interest, strengths, or concerns. The curriculum embeds factual information about alcohol and other drugs within topics such as goals, interests, strengths, wellness, social and community supports, pressures, stress, coping strategies, mindfulness, and more. The knowledge and skills gained during Project Amp can help youth now and in the future as they grow into young adults and navigate life’s challenges – building awareness of when they might need support, and learning how to ask for it.