EYFP – Powerful Families

— Written By Lee Stiles
en Español

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Our program provides education to families to allow them to grow and strengthen as a unit and a community. We are currently meeting that goal by focusing on caregivers and youth and their relationships by running two separate cohorts simultaneously in Carteret and Onslow Counties. It’s been quite a year so far! My name is Lee Stiles, Program Assistant, for the Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP). I’m passionate about what I do and humbled by all the youth and families, veterans, and county residents that I’ve been able to communicate with and work with in Carteret and Onslow Counties. We have facilitated two (2) community events in Onslow County so far and one in Carteret County.

We have three families in Onslow who have been thoroughly enjoying our weekly sessions. Youth have been learning about each other’s positive qualities, how to make safe choices and avoid risky decisions, and about their personal friendships. Parents have practiced and used different tools that will help them communicate with their youth better. Families have been enjoying meals together and bonding stronger in each session. Sadly, Ms. Sophia, one of our facilitators, is moving back to Kansas. We celebrated her last evening with us by presenting her a plaque to show our appreciation of her hard work, giving her a gift card, and some delicious cheesecake. We will miss Sophia’s kind spirit, facilitation skills, and vibrant smile.

Lee Stiles presented Sophia with a Certificate of Appreciation

Sophia accepting Certificate.

In Carteret, we started programming on October 7, 2021. The three families I work with in Carteret have been enthusiastic about the Empowering Youth and Families Program and are learning more and more each week. The youth are bonding over doing activities together and acting out role-play scenarios that help them communicate positively in real life situations. Parents have learned about Reflexive Listening and Emotion Coaching. One of the most memorable nights was when the families bonded over spaghetti dinner.

Shawn Banks, County Extension Director for Carteret County and class participants preparing a meal.

Participants preparing a meal

As we are reaching the end of 2021, I am encouraged by the families in Carteret and Onslow. They have already begun to brainstorm on what type of issues they want to tackle in their communities through planning our community events in each respective county. The families will take the skills and tools they learn in EYFP and implement it in their community events. Be on the lookout for some awesome outreach events in Carteret and Onslow! We are taking prevention education to another level and impacting lives!

2 Young girls engaging in a role play activity

Parent and youth in Reflexing Listening role-play scenario.

Mother pointing to a poster explaining their concept while husband and son stand beside her.

Family making a presentation.

Young boy and girl working together on display board listing "safe" and "risky" activities.

Youth working together at project board.

Display board

Display board showing “safe” and “risky” choices youth can make.

Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) has engaged over 100 families across two states in an effort to build a new research-informed program to help youth and their caregivers make healthy choices for prevention and for their mental and physical health. Families learn together first, and then step out to educate their neighbors in a way that is unique to their community. To date, close to 15,000 community members have been reached in 16 centers in NC and TN.

EYFP team members are truly honored and humbled to be recognized for their collective efforts. The curriculum designed for use within EYFP, Powerful Families, Powerful Communities, is nearing the end of its pilot status and will be widely available to the larger prevention community upon publication. For more information, visit our website at EYFP4H.org.