Some of the current dangers to youth include alcohol poisoning, drug over-dosing, gun and weapon violence and cyber-related crimes. There are many local resources and laws that are available for protection of young people. Unfortunately many young people are unaware of these tools available to ensure their safety.
- Gun Violence: In 2009, 17 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported that they had carried a weapon anywhere on at least one day during the past 30 days. Read more.
- Cyber-related Crimes: 1 in 7 youth report being exposed to unwanted sexual solicitations in cyberspace. Read more.
- Alcohol Consumption: Most teen-drinking deaths occur from falls, homicides, suicides, and alcohol poisoning. Read more.
- Drug Abuse: Prescription drug use among Indiana’s high school seniors has been on the rise, from 5.9% in 1998 to 14.5% in 2012. Read more.
- Midtown Mental Health
- Eskenazi Health
- Aspire Indiana
- Office of the Attorney General (BitterPill)
- IYSA Make Good Decisions Campaign
- DrugRehab.com’s Substance Abuse Guide for Parents
- DrugRehab.com’s Teen Drug Abuse Resource
- A Guide to Crime Prevention for Kids
View MCCOY’s “Our Kids, Our Families, Our Communities” television show about teen safety measures here.
Youth Champion: Jalen Vaughn, Youth Empowerment Team
Jalen was a member of MCCOY’s Youth Empowerment Team. At the time of this interview, Jalen was only a high school junior, but he was making a big positive impact in his community. He organized a youth summit which included the Indiana Attorney General as a panelist.
- What inspired you to fight for the cause of youth safety?
My cousin was recently killed due to gun violence. I felt obligated and that it was necessary for me to make a change so more youth aren’t victim of the same circumstances.
- When did you decide that you wanted to put together an event to address youth safety?
I decided to put an event on, around November. However it was geared towards black history month but became more of a freedom and youth safety as time progressed.
- What is most rewarding about the work you’ve done?
Being able to have all the kids in my school say that they learned something. Another is that the panelists thanked me for giving them the opportunity when they were in fact helping me.
- You recently organized and led a youth summit. What did it focus on and what was the most challenging part of organizing this event?
It focused on the freedoms and inequalities between races. Such as a social, economical, and political issues that result in violence or disagreement to come to an understanding of.
- Has your experience with MCCOY’s Youth Empowerment Team helped you?
Yes, partially because when I was hearing about MCCOY it gave me a sense of hope that youth do have a chance and youth do have an opportunity.
- Where do you see yourself in five years, and what do you hope to have accomplished?
I see myself in the next five years about to have graduated from college. While having some part in a political, or social justice capacity. I hope to have changed the life or influenced positively one child before five years is over.