In February 2021, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Phoenix Field Division rolled out the Operation Engage initiative in Yavapai County and the team hit the ground running partnering with many local and national agencies to help promote drug prevention awareness.
One of those partnerships has been with Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). CADCA provides youth leadership training to local area high school students and with funding through Operation Engage CADCA was able to provide this training in 2021 and 2022. This year from July 25-28, eight local teens attended daily training in a classroom at the Park Collective in Prescott Valley. CADCA trainers led the teens each day providing leadership and capacity building training. The DEA Operation Engage Team lent support each day with team building exercises and invited guest speakers to talk to the students about local environments.
Students identified the issues that are most impacting their school communities and ways to turn the negative environments into positives by partnering with their school administration, peers and their parents to work together to solve the problem. At the end of the week-long training, students shared their impact statements and created ways they can bring their training back to their schools to help improve school environments for all students.
The students also received prevention messaging and career exploration from the DEA and through a partnership with MATFORCE (a local prevention coalition) and the Prescott Valley Police Department. Students provided positive feedback highlighting how important their voices are in solving issues in their communities and how grateful they were for being heard.
To learn more, please visit Operation Engage Yavapai.