Speak Out & Make Noys - Chapter 1: Getting Started

Identifying The Focus of Your Project

Speak Out & Make NOYS

is a health and safety awareness project that addresses a specific need in your community. So your first order of business is to identity the focus of your project. Who is your target audience and what are their needs?

Step 1: Target Audience

A community can be your neighborhood, your organization, your age group, your school, your city, and even your state. Your first step is to identify what target audience you intend to focus on. Will it be… 

Step 2: Assessment of your target audience

Each community has it’s own unique problems, needs, and desires. Your second step is to identify these issues and decide which will be your focus. There are many ways to collect this information.

“My advice to other youth is to find something you are really enthusiastic about and then to go out and make it happen.” 

Amy Willis, Florida NOYS

A. Gather Statistics

B. Conduct a Survey

A survey can give you specific information about your target group. You can get personal preferences, opinions, and information from smaller communities that may not be available anywhere else. 

Tips for writing and conducting a Youth Survey 

Example question: 
How often do you wear your safety belt?

Example question: 
Do you agree with the new safety rules at school?

Don’t give away your personal biases in a question. 

Example question: 
Do you like the plans for the community youth center?

Example question: 
How many times a week do you NOT wear your safety belt?

Example question: 
How often have you driven a motor vehicle after having more than 1 drink? 

Example question: 
On a scale of 1-5 (1 being not very important, 5 being very important). How important do you believe it is to use your seat belt if the car you are driving has air bags? 

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Example question: 
Rank these 5 options in order of your personal preference. What drug and alcohol-free event should SADD sponsor this spring? 

  1. ____ Dance
  2. ____ Pool party 
  3. ____ Walk-A-Thon 
  4. ____ Concert 
  5. ____ Mock Crash

Step 3: Analyze the Results

The third step is to map out the assets and deficiencies of your community. Community mapping asks the question: what resources are available in my community for youth? And, what youth needs are not being met? Using all the material you have gathered, make a list below of the assets your community provides as well as its deficits. 

Assets Deficits
 Example: City council's 2000 goal is to address "Teen Issues" in our community Example: No "safe haven" place for youth to hang out.

Setting Your Project Goals

Now that you have identified the target population, assessed the needs in your community, taken a survey, and mapped out your community’s assets and deficiencies, you are ready to decide on the goals of your project. Goals identify exactly what your project intends to accomplish. Goals give you a target, help keep you focused, limit distractions, and reduce detours. Most importantly they will act as your team’s inspiration and foundation helping you prioritize your time and energy. 

Setting project goals can be broken out into 3 specific phases. These phases take you from general to specific.

“Goals are very important to stay on track. Short-term goals provide the motivation to continue-when you achieve a minor goal you are always more excited to go after the bigger one.”  

Kyra White, Arizona SADD

Phase 1: Goals

Goals are broad statements about what you want to accomplish that directly address your community’s needs. Goals should challenge you to stretch, yet be attainable. If your project is ongoing, or if the completion date is more than 6 months off, you might need both long- and short-term goals. Short-term goals are simply small goals to get you to the larger goal. 

Goal Example: 
To increase usage of safety belts among students of North High School.
 

Use the Goal Worksheet to identify possible goals for your project.

Goal Worksheet

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Phase 2: Objectives

Objectives break down your goals into measurable pieces. They help you identify ahead of time exactly the results you expect for each goal. Objectives are written as a single sentence that includes details like quantities, statistics, time specifics, and descriptive terms that can be measured. Objectives should always be written in terms of what will be done, not what will be avoided. Remember to make your objectives reasonable and attainable.

Objective Example: 
North High School students will increase their safety belt usage by 25% by 12/25/00 following our safety belt awareness campaign. 

Use the Objective Worksheet to identify an objective for each of the goals you identified.

Objective Worksheet

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Phase 3: Time Lines and Action Plans

Time Lines and Action Plans break down your objectives into little steps and include a due date for each step. This helps you stay on track and prevents pulling “all nighters.” 

Action Plan Example:

Use the Action Plans chart to identify several major steps to be accomplished for each objective.

Action Plans
checkmark Who Date To Do