The Launch Pad is youth-driven
Teen Advisory Council
Yavapai County is above the national average in teen suicide, teen dating violence, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy. TAC was created for youth to develop the skills to find resources and build solutions that address issues impacting youth on an individual and community-wide scale. The teens involved in TAC can gain leadership skills, establish new attitudes to help build effective relationships, develop their communication, learn public speaking, improve collaboration, and take initiative. TAC encourages teens to become more proactive in the world around them.
The Launch Pad’s Teen Advisory Council members choose topics they feel teens in the Tri-City area are most impacted by and create campaigns in order to positively impact their community. The 2019/2020 TAC Cohort’s campaign topics included: teenage community and bullying, teenage intimate relationships, teenage substance abuse/use, and teenage mental health.
Courtney Osterfelt, the Executive Director of The Launch Pad Teen Center says, “Teens are used to adults telling them all the things they should and should not do. While we believe adult guidance is crucial in teen’s lives, at The Launch Pad we also believe it is infinitely more powerful when teens learn to have the conversations themselves, leading to collective empowerment for a more positive future. TAC teaches teens to facilitate important conversations in their peer communities about issues that deeply impact their lives. We believe this is one of the most powerful ways to create positive changes in the lives of the teens we serve.”
TAC is comprised of twelve high schoolers from all over the Prescott Tri-City and surrounding areas. The TAC Cohort meets once a week throughout the year and is open to all high schoolers in Yavapai County!
The Launch Pad’s Teen Advisory Council is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year!
TAC members are accepted based on their desire to learn/build upon their leadership skills, get involved in their community, and create systemic change as demonstrated in their application.
Contact our TAC Coordinator Reed for more information email@example.com or fill out an application today!
we are the
teen advisory council
We are a leadership group within The Launch Pad Teen Center. We work on campaigns every quarter that address issues affecting our community’s youth. Check out our current and past campaigns below:
Our Current Campaigns
Teens are concerned about the division that faces our community: videos leaked of local teens using discriminatory language, our historic downtown saw a teen-organized demonstration met with rage, and most recently our town has faced news coverage for racial insensitivity. These problems are difficult to talk about — often, conversations are shut down by anger, anxiety, stress: miscommunication. We recognize an inability to communicate, especially about important issues like discrimination, and want to see a change in how we approach making our town live up to its name.
This event is an opportunity to have compassionate conversations about difficult and relevant topics. It focuses on the brain science behind how we react in heated conversations and how to turn down the temperature and listen with empathy. We seek to create a space where everyone feels safe sharing their opinions and discussing them in a way that brings us together instead of apart.
So far, we have organized two Better Together events virtually and have armed hundreds of lives with communication and empathy skills.
We are holding another event on September 27th, Arizona’s Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day. We believe the skills teens learn in this event go hand-in-hand with civics and community engagement; we hope communities and schools beyond Prescott will provide Better Together as a resource for civic learning. This event will be virtual with students tuning in from classrooms all across the state!
This is our newest campaign yet. Our goal is to reduce food waste and make nutrition accessible to the whole of the Tri-City area. We are working to do this by volunteering with our local food banks and housing shelters. Through education and helping others access resources, we are able to create a safer, healthier Prescott.
An ongoing campaign, this initiative encourages youth to take advantage of our wealth of hiking trails, parks, and lookouts. We organize hikes, volunteer at events like Prescott Earth Day, and post info-graphics of places for teens to hangout in nature!
There are many teens in the Prescott area who have had struggles with mental health, and there is a lack of adequate support in resources in our schools and accessible within the local community, so we decided to put together an event that not only raises awareness about mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them, but also connects teens with better coping skills and resources to help their mental health. We set up a Mental Health Resource Fair, which we advertised with zines, mini magazines we created and distributed ourselves, that advertised the Resource Fair and a concert featuring teen bands that we held immediately following the Resource Fair and listed phone and online hotlines for various mental health crises. At the Fair, we had counselors from a local mental health organization present and able to talk to teens, as well as give teens contacts to reach out to if they needed support. We also had many booths for different coping mechanisms we wanted to showcase that can be used in place of harmful coping mechanisms to deal with mental unease. Some of these included making art, face/arm painting, and gardening.
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness about what it’s like to live with a disability or take care of someone with a disability, like Down syndrome, dyslexia, or a physical disability that inhibits your movement. We also discussed how to be an advocate for folks with disabilities in your own life and how to make your community more accessible. We had a local mother who has multiple children with disabilities to speak about disability etiquette and on how she advocates for her children. The event included multiple activities to simulate a small part of what it’s like to have certain disabilities, and included many discussions with attendees about their ideas to make the community more accessible. We also collected money at the event which we donated to a local disability empowerment center.
TAC learned about healthy vs unhealthy teen relationships and prepared a presentation to make the information accessible to Tri-City Prep school. This campaign was unfortunately cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the local middle schools reached out to The Launch Pad with concerns about a growing number of teens using hard drugs. TAC decided to do some outreach for the school, handling the situation with a peer-to-peer approach. We went into middle school classrooms and had conversations with the students about anything they wanted to talk about, and we focused on trying to provide a positive influence for the kids and encourage them to develop healthy habits and relationships as they enter into high school. We tried to have laid-back conversations with them, rather than simply tell them to say no to drugs like most anti-drug campaigns do.