CANFIELD, Ohio — Callia Barwick, a Mahoning County 4-H youth from Canfield, was invited to attend the U.S. Department of Education’s Listening Session on Opioid Prevention in Washington on Oct. 24.
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Communications and Outreach Youth Engagement Team is committed to help ensure their staff are effectively collaborating with student stakeholders to improve the development and implementation of programs and policies. One of the ways they achieve the goal is by hosting Youth Voices Sessions. Youth Voices Sessions are listening sessions arranged to engage ED staff and students in a discussion on various topic areas related to ED’s priorities and targeted Administration initiatives.
In 2018, more than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription of illicit opioids. Opioids killed more people last year than either car accidents or gun violence. This session sought to identify and disseminate promising strategies and practices to assist decision-makers, particularly at the state, local and community levels, to plan, implement and participate in effective programs for students, especially those who are at-risk of experimentation and misuse of opioids.
Callia is a member of the Ohio 4-H Health Heroes whose mission is to promote healthy living in their communities. She was able to explain and present her Stuffed Animal Project she created in Mahoning County. Callia collected new and slightly used stuffed animals which were given to area police departments for the officers to give to children whose parents and/or guardians are being arrested. Callia observed this crisis in our community and developed a way to help make a difference. When teens are placed in these types of teaching roles, they learn the content while also developing their leadership, teamwork and advocacy skills.
— Ohio Farm Business Analysis, Ohio State University