July 13, 2024
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Surprise Valley Students dedicate their time to Friday Night Live Program

In Surprise Valley, California, the energy and commitment of young advocates in Friday Night Live programs have been on full display throughout the month of April. As part of the fourth annual FNL Advocacy Day, youth across Modoc County have been championing community changes and amplifying youth voices.

Modoc County boasts six FNL program chapters catering to different age groups: FNL-Kids for grades 4-5, Club Live for grades 6-8, and FNL for grades 9-12. In Alturas, three chapters are known as ‘West’, while in Surprise Valley, they’re referred to as ‘East’.

Club Live and FNL-East youth formed teams to go into the Cedarville community to gain support for prevention of underaged gambling.

In Surprise Valley, Club Live and Friday Night Live chapters collaborated on various initiatives to raise awareness about FNL Month, Advocacy Day, and the BOOF (Betting On Our Future) campaign. Their efforts included engaging locals support of laws preventing underage gambling, alcohol, and nicotine use. A range of activities such as Town Hall meetings, conference workshops, and a week-long “Not On My Watch” (NoMW) campaign were organized to promote healthy living among youth in the Cedarville community.

Friday Night Live-East participated in the Not on My Watch campaign. Team two (l-r) was Eugene Sam, Brady Linton, a Cedarville resident with sweet dogs who pledged campaign support, Eljun Wilson and Tristan Sweeny.

Under the guidance of Advisor Lisa Craig, FNL youth meticulously planned and executed their advocacy efforts. The Surprise Valley chapters saw an influx of two new members, underlining the program’s appeal and impact in the community.

Club Live-East enjoying a moment of serenity, during the underaged gambling campaign of Not on My Watch, to place ‘kindness stones’ by the park creek path.

Explaining the roots of FNL, Lisa Craig highlighted its origins in 1984 with a specific focus on reducing underage impaired driving. Today, FNL programs span across 50 California counties, operating in schools, community centers, and alongside local agencies and nonprofits like RISE.

The prevailing sentiment demonstrates the importance of investing in youth resilience, especially during these times. The success of Surprise Valley chapters reflects the endless commitment of youth and adult partners in fostering healthier communities. The RISE FNL Partnership emphasizes an inclusive, comprehensive, research-based, and youth-driven approach as integral to improving the lives of young people and communities.

For those interested in learning more about FNL programs at the statewide level or getting involved, the website fridaynightlive.tcoe.org serves as a valuable resource. Additionally, contacting RISE at (530) 233-2226 provides opportunities for further engagement and support.

The dedication and passion exhibited by Surprise Valley’s Friday Night Live programs stand as a testament to the transformative power of youth advocacy, contributing significantly to the bettering of communities across California.

A FNL-East team of Riley Felkins, Michael Torres, Andrew Eichstaedt, and Wyatt Carpenter practiced a campaign ‘elevator pitch’ to gain community support to reduce gambling problems.

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