What is Essential?

Essential is a youth empowerment program that is part of the South Philadelphia Prevention Coalition. The objective of Essential is for students to learn personal responsibility and community action. This is a substance prevention program for middle to high school grade students who desire an advocacy role, have a serving heart, and want to positively impact their school culture. The program will revolve around three key factors: enriching student learning, activism, and peer accountability.

Essential meets twice a month throughout the school year during which students will have the opportunity to grow as youth advocates in their community, gain a better understanding of their personal responsibility and create a new social norm toward substance use. In Essential, students learn healthy alternatives to substance use, methods to build personal character and plans to impact the community around them. At the end of the year, our goal is to have the students become well informed about the social structures in place, strategies to empower themselves and others, and deepen personal commitment in order to illustrate their ESSENTIAL role in creating change!