Two weeks ago, Fresno’s Roosevelt High School was recognized as Friday Night Live’s 2018 Chapter of the Year. The chapter was selected out of Friday Night Live chapters across 50 California counties, representing thousands of youth leaders across the state.
Last year, the Roosevelt chapter helped to organize and implement a county-wide Sticker Shock Campaign, a far-reaching media campaign that worked to educate residents and retailers about underage drinking — a pernicious problem that has had devastating impacts for youth, their families, and the larger Fresno community.
Roosevelt youth leaders worked with other chapters across the county to conduct research that would identify where, how, and from whom youth are accessing alcohol. An investigation of their community found a whopping 35 liquor stores within 1-mile radius of their school.
The campaign launched with a press conference held in partnership with the local FoodsCo., which was followed by labelling packs of alcohol with warning stickers they created to educate adults about underage drinking. The story was aired on the local TV station, ABC 30 Action News, as well as The Fresno Bee.
The youth then set out to build relationships with retailers, and to educate the community about the problem. They launched a social norms campaign that strives to alleviate perceived pressures to drink by demonstrating that young people are far less likely to drink than commonly assumed. Their research was shared with over 1.6 million people through Public Service Announcements, snapchat filters, and Instagram posts.
The goal of this campaign was to shift the focus from individual behaviors to the larger patterns of injustice — the messages, advertising, and access points — that target young, low-income people of color and encourage unhealthy behaviors.
The award was presented on the final day of the 10th Annual Traffic Safety Summit — a 3-day conference organized by the California Youth Council for youth leaders. Nicole Lee and Christina Garcia, accepted the award on behalf of their chapter, sharing their delight at the statewide recognition.
*Friday Night Live (FNL) is a statewide organization that addresses underage substance abuse.