From Press Release:
Jackson, TN – Students from Putnam County, Tennessee joined 450 youth leaders from across
the state at the Tennessee Teen Institute (TTI). TTI is a five-day youth leadership and prevention
camp sponsored by the Jackson Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (JACOA). This
year marked the 37th year of the Teen Institute Program in Tennessee. Our outstanding youth,
known as Power of Putnam’s Thrive Ambassadors, attending the conference were Preston
McCann, Isabella Moody, Amanda Randolph, and Savannah Peterson. They learned valuable
information about bullying, violence, suicide, teen pregnancy, distracted driving, teen health, and
substance abuse prevention through a five-day, peer-led prevention camp designed to provide
skills and education necessary to develop and implement alcohol and drug abuse prevention
programs in their own communities. Our Thrive Ambassadors created their own community action
plan targeting nicotine and are eager to show Putnam County their community-based prevention
plan. Utilizing the skills gained from the Tennessee Teen Institute, our Ambassadors are inspired
and motivated to create the change they wish to see in the community. This comprehensive
program trains, mobilizes, and empowers youth to prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and
other drugs and self-destructive behaviors in themselves and their peers. TTI prepares students to
not only make positive changes, but to be proud advocates of those changes. Because TTI is peer-
led, teens are given a unique opportunity to have a “voice” in addressing issues important to them.
Giving youth some ownership in this type of program is one of the key factors in the success of
enforcing a substance-free lifestyle.
Held at the University of Tennessee at Martin campus in Martin, Tennessee, June 12th-17th, TTI 2022 hosted approximately 450 teen leaders, adult advisors, and TTI staff. These participants leave motivated not only to make healthy decisions in their own lives, but also committed to work so that others are making healthy decisions in their communities as well.
Executive Director of Power of Putnam Bill Gibson said, “We appreciate the support of all citizens
and community partners that make this youth outreach possible. Special thanks to the Putnam
County Commission and the office of County Mayor Randy Porter for helping in the battle against
Mission statement for the Teen Institute Program is:
“To empower Tennessee’s youth to lead by example and take an active role in bringing about
positive changes by giving them the skills, knowledge, and support they need to make healthy
choices, build positive relationships and live substance free lives.”
For more information about the Tennessee Teen Institute visit www.tnteeninstitute.net.