On Friday May 8th, the Teen Advocacy Coalition, TAC, will be sponsoring their annual Town Hall at New Life Fellowship beginning at 5:00 p.m. This event is free and will feature a networking opportunity, dinner and a presentation by internationally renowned youth motivational speaker, Scott Backovich. All ages are encouraged to attend. Childcare and Spanish translation will be provided. The theme of this year’s Town Hall is “Building a Better Community.”
“A constant complaint from the teen population of Pacific County is the lack of activities available to them,” Gracie Manlow, TAC Project Coordinator said. “TAC aims to provide pro-social and safe alternatives that focus on students’ interests and hobbies.”
This is the second Town Hall that TAC has sponsored. A requirement from the Drug Free Communities Grant, Town Hall events focus on starting community discussions about drug and alcohol prevention.
“At Town Hall, our goal is get to the public thinking about underage substance use,” Manlow said. “It’s not always a pleasant conversation to have, but, as a community we need to be realistic about teen substance abuse.”
A free dinner catered by Las Maracas will be available to all attendees. During this time, various non-profits and organizations from all over the county will set up informational booths. These booths will be available for teens and community members to find volunteer opportunities that cater directly to their interests.
“TAC works hard to offer as many opportunities to our youth as possible,” Manlow said. “We want the students to know the whole community is rooting for their success.”
The keynote address will be given by Scott Backovich. Backovich is an internationally renowned youth motivational speaker for the LA area. Prior to speaking at Town Hall, Backovich will give a presentation for each of three high schools. Backovich’s presentations will be focused on prevention, and, more specifically, the positive effects of community collaborations.
“I saw Scott speak a few months ago and was completely blown away,” Manlow said. “For Scott, it’s not about talking at students; it’s about connecting with them where they are.”
Town Hall 2015 is a free event open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend, ask questions and learn more about building a more sustainable community.
“I hope that everyone will be able to attend Town Hall 2015,” Manlow said. “We’ve found that by working together as a community, we can change the future of our youth for the better.”
On Saturday May 2nd, the Teen Advocacy Coalition, TAC, sponsored an After Prom Party at the Koplitz Field House. This event was free to anyone that attended prom. Activities included a photo booth, video games, a caricature artist and plenty of free snacks. Students had the opportunity to win raffle prizes which included a Kindle Fire, gift cards and a GoPro Camera System.
“We started planning for the party back in December,” Gracie Manlow, TAC Project Coordinator, said. “Several students were involved with the brainstorming and implementation of the event.”
Students that did not attend the prom were also invited to participate. By volunteering their time at the event, the underclassmen were invited to participate in the activities and enter the raffle for prizes.
“We wanted to make sure everyone was included in the event,” Manlow said. “Even if an upperclassman decided not to attend the prom, the still had the option to be included in the fun.”
26 student volunteers and 14 community members made the event a success. About 55 prom attendees took advantage of the free After Prom Party. The activities concluded around 1:30 a.m.