Youth Rallies

‘Empowering the Next Generation’ – 2024 Regional Youth Rallies

All sixth-grade students within UNITE’s 33-county service region are invited to attend one of seven regional “Empowering the Next Generation” youth rallies to be held in September 2024.

Invitations have been sent to all superintendents, school principals and Family Resource and Youth Service Center staff, informing them the date and location for their school system.

Rallies will be held from 10 am to 2 pm on:

  • Monday, September 9 – The Corbin Arena
  • Tuesday, September 10 – Harlan County High School
  • Wednesday, September 11 – The Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg
  • Thursday, September 12 – Pike County Central High School
  • Monday, September 16 – Morehead Conference Center
  • Tuesday, September 17 – The Center for Rural Development, Somerset
  • Wednesday, September 18 – Hazard Community & Technical College

Registration

On-line registration for the 2024 Youth Rallies will be available soon.

Contact

For details about the youth rallies, contact Courtney Maynard, UNITE Prevention Programs Coordinator, at cmaynard@OperationUNITE.org or 606-626-7227.

Purpose

Each youth rally will feature an interactive keynote presentation from Youth to Youth International on the power of making the right choices in life. In addition, the rallies are designed to:

  • Inspire and invigorate youth to join an existing UNITE Club or to start a new UNITE Club at their school. These clubs provide skills in leadership, citizenship, and resistance to negative peer pressure.
  • Provide students an overview of UNITE’s summer initiatives, such as Camp UNITE and Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps.

Schools provide transportation to and from the event venue, but the cost of transportation is reimbursed by UNITE. In addition, each school will prepare bagged lunches for their students and staff.

UNITE believes that sixth-grade students are at that pivital age where they can initiate incredible change within our culture as well as develop excellent decision-making skills. The goal of the youth rallies is to ignite a spark within these young hearts, fostering resilience and empowering them to shine brightly amidst the challenges they may face.

Past regional youth programs

2023 Youth Rallies

Four regional youth rallies for sixth-grade students were held in September 2023. These rallies — held in Somerset, Hazard, Prestonsburg, and Morehead — drew 1,633 students from 49 schools in 22 counties. The theme for these rallies was “One Person. One Choice.”

During the rallies, students engaged in a variety of fun activities and songs from Camp UNITE (including a complete audience participation Rock-Paper-Scissors competition), learned about joining or starting UNITE Clubs at their schools, and regional Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps held throughout June.

In addition, participants heard inspirational messages from Camp UNITE alumni and an anti-vaping presentation by Robb Holla — a nationally-known youth empowerment speaker who utilized magic and humor to engage the teens. His message was simple: Make positive choices in your life by knowing the facts and understanding the consequences of your decisions.

2010 Youth Leadership Training

 

A series of three two-part regional trainings for middle and high school youth – primarily officers and strong, active members of anti-drug UNITE Clubs – were held in 2010. More than 800 students from 48 schools attended the trainings conducted in Hazard, London, and Prestonsburg by Youth To Youth International, a model community-based drug prevention and youth leadership program. Its many projects are aimed at harnessing the powerful influence of peer pressure, making it a positive force that encourages young people to live free of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. The UNITE Youth Leadership Program is funded through a grant from the Walmart Foundation and the Kentucky Advisory Council State Giving Program.

2009 Youth Summits

More than 6,500 students from 136 schools in 29 counties attended one of three Operation UNITE’s “Piercing the Darkness of Drugs” Youth Summits held September 15-17, 2009, in Hazard, Somerset and Prestonsburg. The summits featured exciting and motivational programs for youth in grades 4-12, followed by an assembly program where regional UNITE Clubs of the Year winners were announced.