Every year the Prevention Network hosts a weekend for teens in 10th through 12th grade called Teen Institute, or "T.I.". The CanTeen was lucky enough to afford to send six teens and a chaperone to the event this year.
According to the Prevention Network Web site, T.I. is "a comprehensive program designed to train, mobilize, and empower youth to prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and self-destructive behaviors in themselves and their peers. Teen Institute emphasizes peer leadership and positive life skills development."
Many teens that have gone to T.I. with The CanTeen, have said it was a "life-changing experience."
Nicole Bulles, 15, came back from T.I. saying she "gained a lot of self confidence", while Kevin Rayo, 15, said he "learned that it is OK to just be you and have fun."
s on promoting acceptance of others and oneself.
"We're not alone in the world with the things we face," said Steph Bailey, 16, who learned and felt a stronger appreciation for life.
Even the adult chaperones that have gone to Teen Institute the past two years through The CanTeen feel the weekend impacted their lives. Teen Institute has been available in Onondaga County since 1986, and nationally since 1965.
To learn more about T.I., you can go to preventionnetworkcny.org.
To learn more about The CanTeen, you can visit canteencny.com.