Who We Are and Why CHILL is Important
CHILL “Communities Helping Improve Local Lives” Youth Task Force of Martinsville and Henry County, Virginia, is a “grassroots” youth movement started in 2002. Our local CHILL members represent all four of the public and private high schools in the local area: Bassett, Carlisle, Magna Vista and Martinsville.
CHILL members meet together-monthly during the school year. They hang out, have pizza and plan exciting events, such as the annual youth rally or media campaigns.
School CHILL coordinators guide CHILL clubs in each school. Clubs meet to plan events and activities for that school, like national Red Ribbon Week, celebrating a drug-free life.
Before CHILL, youth felt…
- Nothing to do
- I can’t change negative influences
- My community doesn’t care about me
- Adults think youth are careless and lazy
- Alcohol and tobacco are easy to get
Statistics showed: Higher than national alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (according to local PRIDE surveys)
Since CHILL in 2002, over 900 high school students have been trained to and had the opportunity to:
- Provide drug free activities & events for youth
- Find value in making positive choices
- Feel connected to and valued by their community
- Help lower alcohol, tobacco and other drug use
- Show adults that “youth can be wise”!
- To become “Change Agents”
Why is CHILL Important?
CHILL and JV CHILL members give us
- Role models for peers and younger youth
- Substance abuse prevention education
- Positive ways to improve the community
- Greater attachment to the community
- Better prepared youth for work world
NOTE: Every $1 spent on substance abuse prevention saves from $2.00 to $20.00
Benefits to CHILL and JV CHILL members:
- Provides a forum of like minded youth that support positive life choices for themselves and others
- Promotes a sense of belonging
- Provides education about the risks of ATOD
- Encourages empowerment through civic engagement and leadership roles within the community
Quotes on the benefits of CHILL….
“…one of the reasons I wanted to [be in CHILL] is because I felt…there were other kids making right choices. …it’s …like we’re together, we’re leaders in our school and we’re all making the right choices and we’re hoping to be positive influences…”
--Former CHILL member
“…their CHILL friends [are seen]…as family. [As a]…family…they have to protect each other and they [would] be very, very, very upset if one of their CHILL member family was not representing them in the right way.“
“See that's why I think I remember stuff [Prevention information] like that. It's like everybody is telling smoking is bad for you, drinking is bad for you, but we're presented it in a fun way at training…so it makes me really remember it and…I'm able to reflect back on it.”