Wednesday, August 31, 2011

1st Ever County-Wide Youth Leadership Program

Students from various Polk County high schools have recently been nominated by their school principals and community leaders to participate in an exciting new Youth Leadership Program, the first of its kind in the county, and spearheaded by InnerAct Alliance and key business partners to help teens develop crucial leadership skills.

On August 16-17, 2011, a group of over 30 teens from 11 different Polk County schools took part in the UthMpact Leadership Retreat at the Florida FFA Leadership Training Center in Haines City, to kick-off the program, develop team presentations, and enjoy Leadership Olympics games and activities led by motivation expert, Patrick T. Grady, a former middle and high school educator, author of the book titled, “Who Packs the Parachute,” and co-author of “Teen Power Too” and “Teen Power and Beyond.”

Once a month, beginning in September 2011, youth leaders will travel throughout Polk County to spend the day experiencing the inner workings of local government, health care, education, and law enforcement. The group will meet with community leaders, discuss challenges, and recommend solutions for issues that face us now and in the future.

The Leadership Program agenda includes 6 days from September-March, each with different themes:

September 28 – Health and Wellness Leadership Day
October 26 – Law Enforcement Leadership Day
November 30 – Volunteer Leadership Day
January 25 – Education Leadership Day
February 22 – Government Leadership Day
March 28 – Business Leadership Day
April 25 – Leadership Graduation Evening

UthMpact is the dynamic coalition of teen leaders committed to helping educate and deliver key substance abuse prevention messages to teens by their peers. Coalition goals for UthMpact are to provide positive community engagement; change community stereotypes about teen drug use by volunteering, informing and being educated; set examples for other teens; increase coalition membership and involvement in youth clubs in high schools; and positively encourage alcohol and tobacco prevention and cessation.

For additional information on the UthMpact Leadership Program, please call Veronica Awai at (863) 802-0777, visit, or find UthMpact on Facebook.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Free Tobacco Cessation Program Starts September 1, 2011

Quitting smoking is one of the healthiest lifestyle changes a person can make, but it can also be difficult to accomplish without support. InnerAct Alliance is proud to partner with Florida Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Network and Florida Department of Health to offer Polk County residents a Free Quit Smoking Now Tobacco Cessation program.

The six-week program begins on September 1, 2011, and was developed by ex-smokers for those who want to become ex-smokers themselves. Weekly meetings will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at tba church, located at 1815 County Road 540A, in Lakeland.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches will also available to participants free of charge.

For information about the Quit Smoking Now program or to register for the September 1st class, please call 1-877-252-6094.