The DEA Educational Foundation provides high-quality, informative programs for youth that focus on resisting drugs and violence through positive activities like dance, baseball, flying and fishing. All DEA Educational Foundation teachers, mentors, volunteers and DEA personnel are trained to deliver the following information to youth participants:
Topic 1: Teens and Drug Abuse
- Students are given an overview of statistics and harmful effects of drugs on the body, mind and relationships. Students are encouraged to stay safe by never using drugs. These messages are delivered by DEA personnel or through handouts and materials given to volunteers. Resources are provided through the following: JustThinkTwice.gov, Discovery Ed and DrugAbuse.gov.
Topic 2: Building Self-Esteem
- To have self-esteem is to have self-respect and exude confidence and pride. In our youth programs, students are encouraged to value themselves and their worth through self-esteem building exercises and opportunities. For example, in the Dance Program, a teacher might ask a student who is typically reticent to stand out to demonstrate a new piece of choreography. Students are given the chance to practice being peer leaders and gain confidence through learning new skills.
Topic 3: Team-Building
- Part of being successful in resisting drugs is having a strong support network. In our youth programs, students are taught that being part of a team and working together is a positive and healthy way to say “no” to drugs. Students will collaborate in the Dance Program to create a piece of choreography, or cheer each other on in a baseball game.
Topic 4: Self-Expression
- Students in our mentorship programs are given the space and freedom to explore healthy self-expression in a safe environment, free from substances and peer-pressure. Kids are able to use their body in a positive way to express their feelings, either through dance or out on the baseball field!
Topic 5: Local Story
- This session focuses on issues central to what kids are experiencing and noticing in their hometown, and how that affects their ability to resist drugs. This allows students to identify the challenges they face on their own streets and brainstorm healthy ways to stay drug-free.
Topic 6: Healthy Lifestyle
- To be a pilot, a dancer, an athlete, a doctor or a DEA Agent, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Movement, nutrition and a drug-free body are essential to achieving success in any field. Students will be given tools to stay healthy and make life-long good choices to support their goals.
Topic 7: Responsibility Academics
- To participate in all programs, students are required to demonstrate personal responsibility by showing up to class, arriving on time, modeling good behavior and respecting mentors and volunteers. Statistically, students who are given opportunities to express themselves artistically and through team sports do better in school than those without these outlets. Having a fun activity to participate in after-school encourages students to show up to school and focus in their academic classes.
Topic 8: Resisting Peer Pressure
- Students enrolled in DEA Educational Foundation youth programs are taught invaluable skills in resisting peer pressure. A key aspect of withstanding peer pressure is having a positive, self-esteem building alternative. Youth will learn how to use language to adamantly deny people who offer them drugs, and give them a strong reason to do so.
Topic 9: Living Their Dreams
- The DEA Educational Foundation empowers kids to try things they’ve never done before, take a positive risk and focus on things that make them feel good about themselves. Whatever a student’s passion or dream, The DEA EF mentors, teachers and volunteers want to inspire children to reach for their goals and DREAM BIG!
Topic 10: Community Involvement
- All DEA EF Youth Programs encourage students to get involved in their own community. Exciting opportunities arise through these programs, like participating in youth summits, assemblies and demonstrations, and events like National Dance Day and National Take Back Day. Through DEA 360 Strategy, students are introduced to a network of law enforcement, local DEA and other community programs, thus providing another support system for vulnerable and at-risk youth. Students are encouraged to invite parents and friends to assemblies and demonstrations, furthering the DEA Educational Foundation’s message of a drug-free and healthy lifestyle for all ages!