NEO – Creating New Events & Opportunities for Youth
History of NEO
NEO began in the Summer of 2008 as the youth sector of the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County. NEO was created to go beyond traditional substance abuse prevention efforts by actively engaging young people to make healthy choices through positive alternative activities all while addressing key root causes of substance use and abuse in fun and meaningful ways for young people.
Moving forward: The Future of NEO
Since its start, NEO has hosted an average of 70 events per year in approximately 25 different locations, drawing thousands of youth to participate in safe, drug-free activities. We’ve learned that young people appreciate these, and thrive with opportunities to feel safe and accepted. It’s time to build on our success and find a permanent home for events, so that instead of supporting young people just one day a week we can be working with them every day, helping to build self-esteem and empower them to make healthy choices while providing healthy alternatives and a safe space. In a recent survey hosted by NEO, youth identified drug and alcohol issues and lack of things for young people to do as the top two things they would change about Nevada County. In the same survey, youth identified having a safe supportive environment and just having a place to hang out as the most important things for a teen center to offer. Plans for the teen center include an after school program, weekend events, meeting space, workshops, field trips, job training and more.
1.) To create new events and opportunities in a safe environment that helps young people develop a sense of purpose.
2.) To use our positive influence to help youth build self-esteem and skills for success.
3.) To empower youth to make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle.
4.) To reduce youth substance abuse and isolation.
NEO provides opportunities for young people to reach their full potential and the skills and confidence to make healthy choices, successfully navigating adolescents. While the focus of NEO is to keep young people drug and alcohol free, we believe that the most effective way to do this is by addressing root causes which contribute to drug and alcohol use and abuse. Because of this we address many issues such as suicide, depression, body image, education, healthy alternatives and community responsibility. Together, these efforts combine to provide a comprehensive, multifaceted approach aimed at building assets and resiliency ultimately reducing overall drug and alcohol use.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 941 – Grass Valley, CA 95945