The Watertown Youth Coalition (WYC), overseen by Wayside Multi-Service Center, is a community coalition of youth, parents, residents, educators, police officers, medical professionals and local business owners committed to promoting healthy and positive lifestyles among Watertown youth.
WYC’s mission is to enhance the abilities of children, teens, parents and the community to increase healthy decision-making and decrease unhealthy risky behaviors.
Youth actively work on community issues along with parents, students, school personnel, police and concerned residents of Watertown. The Coalition addresses youth development through an exciting variety of community projects, including the Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol Project, and the Drug Free Communities Support Program, which seek to reduce underage alcohol and other drug use along with associated high-risk behaviors.
The Multi embraces the development and enhancement of resiliency skills to enable youth and adults to deal with personal and community issues more effectively. In the Multi’s programs, we strengthen these skills by fostering protective factors including strong, positive relationships with caring adults and opportunities for engagement in community wide efforts designed to promote healthy development of youth and families.
Over the past two years, 20+ Watertown Youth Coalition Peer Leaders (and Watertown High students) have dedicated countless hours creating the two phases of the “I Am” campaign.
Phase 1- Poster Campaign: The “I Am” campaign is about recognizing a part of yourself that you feel good about and are proud to share with others. In the poster campaign, five students have shared ways to maintain their identity and their motivating factors to making healthy decisions i.e., refraining from substance use and emphasizing positive behaviors that replace substance use.
Phase 2- Video Campaign: The video is a short corresponding film that highlights three Watertown High students who will go into detail about how their “I Am” is represented in different parts of their life, as well as how it helps motivate them to make healthy choices. These students have shared ways to maintain that identity both in real life and in the online representation of themselves. In the video, each students image and voice says the tagline “online and offline, I am owning my image.” This comes from the idea that not only is it important to recognize your strengths, but also that they are reflected in different areas of your life. We are encouraging students to represent healthy decisions in both their actions and how they represent their actions through social networking sites. The video will also demonstrate substance free activities that the students participate in.
To view the video go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul3srjSomvg&feature=youtu.be