The Monadnock Youth Coalition, a group formed by the YMCA Community Coalition to help prevent substance use in youth ages 11-17, recently launched a website, monadnockyouthcoalition.org. The coalition is made up of area middle- and high-school students from Keene and Swanzey.

In addition to developing the website as a platform to reach more youth in the Keene and Swanzey ar-eas, coalition members have educated themselves in prevention work and also held many activities for youth.

Prevention-work education included taking the online course from TobaccoFreeKids to better inform youth on the dangers of tobacco, while fun activities encompassed scavenger hunts, giveaways, movie nights and other events. Thanks to these efforts to connect and engage youth through virtual means, the Monadnock Youth Coalition has been able to increase its membership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our coalition has been working to approach the COVID-19 pandemic head on,” said Meghan Marcucci, YMCA Community Coalition Coordinator. “We have been working with our youth group to have discussions about the pandemic, discussing what safety looked like before versus now. We have also discussed what their values were before the pandemic versus now.”

In the coming months, the coalition hopes to work with Dover youth to continue its education around prevention work and also to grow its membership.

For more information, visit monadnockyouthcoalition.org. Anyone who wants to take part in the youth coalition’s group meetings may contact Meghan Marcucci at mmarcucci@keene-ymca.org.