Speak Out & Make Noys Introduction

What is NOYS?

The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) is a coalition that promotes collaboration at the national, state and local levels. Its mission is to marshal resources and build synergistic partnerships that save lives, prevent injuries, and promote safe and healthy lifestyles among youth. The current NOYS emphasis areas are highway safety, violence prevention, alcohol and tobacco use, and other drug issues among youth ages 5-24. NOYS has grown to include more than 50 national organizations that are committed to reducing the magnitude of injuries and deaths among young people. A list of NOYS member organizations can be found in the resource section of this manual. 

What is a Speak Out and Make NOYS project? 

Speak Out & Make NOYS is a health and safety project that gives youth an opportunity to speak out about an issue or problem in their community. It allows youth to participate in finding solutions and changing the world for the better. You can be one of the thousands of Youth Changing the World by joining forces with NOYS to promote youth health and safety. 

Why is NOYS sponsoring Speak Out and Make NOYS?

This project meets all 5 goals of NOYS. 

  1. To Empower: NOYS will entrust, support, and encourage youth leadership and involvement in activities and initiatives that enhance health and safety.
  2. To Communicate: NOYS will share information and ideas among youth serving organizations at the national, state and local levels.
  3. To Collaborate: NOYS will share resources, provide technical assistance, and invite your participation in activities sponsored by member organizations to promote health and safety for youth. 
  4. To Initiate: NOYS will support the design, implementation, and evaluation of national youth health and safety events and activities.
  5. To Organize: NOYS will develop a volunteer structure to support the mission and goals of the organization.

What kind of a Speak Out and Make NOYS project can you do in your community?

Basically the sky is the limit. Here are a few suggestions that will help you get started.

For more ideas, check out the list of Project Ideas in the resource section of this manual. 

How can you use the Speak Out and Make NOYS project manual to help you plan and run an effective project?

The project manual acts as your step-by-step project guide. The first three chapters help you analyze the health and safety needs of your community, define your project goals, develop a team, and organize the details of your project. Use these chapters like a workbook. Chapter 4 includes important project tools like being a great leader, running effective meetings, making professional presentations, working with the media, finding funding and resource materials. These sections act as a resource for you to use throughout the project. 

How can I get national support and recognition for my project?

To help us support you during the project and acknowledge your success when you are finished, simply fill out the registration form and send it to NOYS, at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The form is located in the resource section of this manual. It’s that simple. No strict guidelines to follow. No registration fees. Simply send in the registration form. Then, at the conclusion of your project, send us an evaluation form. So join the team and be a Youth Changing the World. 

Contact: cneverman@nhtsa.dot.gov 

Success Stories

Because this manual is designed to assist you in developing your leadership skills as you organize your project, we have included several interviews with youth who are running successful projects already. These “Success Stories” demonstrate a wide range of possible projects. Throughout this manual their stories, insights, and personal experiences are included. That’s because we believe that 

“only youth really know what youth want and need,” 
says Katie Yee of PROJECT CHANGE.

You will hear first hand how teens in PROJECT CHANGE researched their communities’ needs, designed action plans, recruited communities leaders, organized and motivated their youth members, worked with celebrities and the media, won national recognition, started organizations, coordinated statewide resources, made business presentations, and met their project goals. Their experiences provide valuable insight into the making of a successful project. Here are their stories… 

Arizona SADD

Kyra White, 1999 National SADD student of the year, working with the Arizona statewide DUI Task Force, formed a coalition to strengthen the partnership between the SADD students and Arizona law enforcement officers. Kyra and her task force realized that in order for the mission of 2000 by 2000 (reducing the number of alcohol-related deaths of young people ages 15-20 to 2000 by the year 2000) to be met, they had to work with the local law enforcement agencies. Some of the joint activities that were created included these: “ride-a-longs” which allowed students a first-hand experience of the process in which a DUI driver is given a citation; students participating in ID checks at liquor stores and the annual volleyball match between the DUI task force and the SADD students. These activities have built a powerful relationship and appreciation between the students and the people of the local law enforcement agency. 

Florida NOYS

Clayton Henry, Robert McLaney, and Amy Willis are three of the student representatives of the Florida NOYS Team. Florida NOYS was established in an effort to replicate the highly successful collaborate venture of the national organization, NOYS. The focus of Florida NOYS was to address three safety issues in their community: 

Photo of Yvonne Mobley
Yvonne Mobley, 
Florida SADD Student of the Year
  • The lack of driver education and skills training for novice drivers.
  • The lack of a primary enforcement law for safety belts and low safety belt usage.
  • Teen drinking and driving. 

Youth representatives from youth organizations were identified to receive advocacy training. This training prepared the youth members to become advocates for the project. Following the training, these representatives took a leadership role in campaigns to increase traffic safety knowledge among students across the state. Clayton, Robert, and Amy approached a former Olympic gold medallist and boxing star to record a public service announcement (PSA) for TV. They also recorded radio PSAs for Buckle Up America week, spoke at kick-off and press conferences across the state, conducted letter-writing campaigns to legislators, and conducted community educational activities. Florida NOYS plans to conduct workshops at the state conferences of local student organizations. 

More Success Stories

PROJECT CHANGE, Olney, Maryland 

It all started at a SADD dance. Anthony DeCicco, Katie Yee, and Brandon Bryn had a blast at the drug and alcohol free event. Then they asked the question that launched them into the creation of a project that would change their lives. Why wasn’t there a place for the youth of Olney to hang out and have fun in a safe environment? They began dreaming of creating a permanent location that provided a welcoming, safe, and comfortable atmosphere for the area youth. Their original vision was of a restaurant atmosphere, open after hours with a dance floor targeted specifically towards youth. Realizing their goals were too big to tackle alone, they recruited a steering committee of community leaders, parents, and organizations. Next they conducted a student survey at the high school to make sure they were representing the needs of the greater teen community. PROJECT CHANGE youth made countless presentations to area businesses as well as national meetings. They have been recognized in local newspapers, received letters of support from a range of community leaders (Local Police Department, Hospital Officials, School Administrators, Youth Organizations), and been honored by the National Safety Council and the Greater Olney Civic Association for excellence in Youth Safety. What started as just an idea is now a legitimate organization called PROJECT CHANGE dedicated to addressing the needs of Olney youth. 

Photo of Project Change Participants
Project Change

Speak Up, Keeping it Real in 2000

Photo of Kelli Walker
Kelli Walker, 
National Association of 
Teen Institutes
Working with the Louisiana Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Kelli Walker and Shara Francis taught 200 participants of the Louisiana Alcohol and Drug Abuse workshop how they could Speak Up and Make NOYS. Kelli and Shara used handouts from the Manual and Organizer to help participants develop action plans to hold events in their own communities. Their training included skills in making good presentations and strategies for working well with both adult and youth teams. Participants left their training event with the information and planning tools needed to hold a Speak Up and Make NOYS event of their own. 

Hawaii NSSP Speak Out

The Hawaii Teens for Safer Communities Coalition is a member of NSSP and MADD’s Youth in Action Program, which are members of NOYS. This teen coalition received training on youth advocacy and the legislative process. They provided testimony at the legislature and sent in letters and petitions. In the last three years, they helped to obtain a zero tolerance law for their state, to raise the drivers license age from 15 to 16, and gained mandatory drivers education laws for all drivers under the age of 18 beginning January 1, 2001. The Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee of the 1999 session presented them with a Certificate of Commendation for their dedication and work with the legislature on highway safety issues. In addition the teens received two Awards of Honor from the National Safety Council for their “Hands off Halloween” and traffic safety program. They also received a Certificate of Excellence from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving and the JC Penneys Outstanding Community Service Group Award.

 Photo of Hawaii Teens for Safer Communities Coalition
Hawaii Teens for Safer Communities Coalition

RADD Kids – The Story

RADD Kids for Safe Choices, the youth division of RADD (Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving) an organization who’s mission is to save lives, was started because of the efforts and dreams of one young man, Bryton McClure. Bryton, (played Richie on the sitcom Family Matters), had just finished performing in a music video with a number of adult actors and musicians for RADD when he got the inspiration to start the same kind of organization for kids in the entertainment business. He wanted to encourage other highly visible young entertainers to become global spokespersons for youth and traffic safety. Bryton recruited the assistance of his Dad, Eric McClure to approach RADD about his dream. At first they were not interested, but with perseverance RADD finally saw Bryton’s vision. Now RADD Kids has in their roster over 85 children and young adults that comprise the top young stars in America, including kids from TV shows like Seventh Heaven, Family Matters, 3rd Rock From The Sun and Home Improvement, and film including Jurassic Park, Matilda, Inspector Gadget and many more. Bryton and his fellow entertainers have developed youth-safety PSAs, a web site to expand their reach, and recently partnered with the Kmart Family Foundation providing celebrity participation at Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs events across the country. 

Photo of Bryton McClure
Bryton McClure,
founder of RADD Kids for Safe Choices

...And Still More Success Stories

BACCHUS & GAMMA, Speak Out Project in Miami

The University of Miami BACCHUS participated in a Speak Out called “NOT HERE.” The NOT HERE project was created by the national BACCHUS/GAMMA Peer Education Network Student Trustees. The purpose was to help students lead others on their campuses to increase student leadership to support education, safety, and risk-reduction strategies regarding alcohol. The Speak Out event was a panel/town meeting to discuss the role of alcohol in the campus community. Following the meeting, over four hundred BACCHUS students at the University of Miami along with faculty and administrators signed a proclamation to build support and publicity for the goal of preventing alcohol-related deaths and tragedies. This proclamation was presented to the President of the University during National Red Ribbon Week. The students planned an opening breakfast, mocktails, salsa dance lessons, information booths, prizes and give-a-ways to celebrate Alcohol Awareness Week. 

Kelso High School Safety SADD

In an effort to decrease bicycle-related injuries and increase overall community safety, the students a Kelso High School worked on awareness campaigns throughout their community. Katherine Ross, Krissie Harding, Annie Winiger, Alisa Carper, Jennifer Krauser and other members of their NSSP team planned a Community Bike safety Rodeo to further highway safety education. The youth in their community had the opportunity to both display their rodeo skills and learn new bike safety information.

Decisions 101 - Future Educators of America

Terri Porter and her chapter of FEA at Atlantic High decided to Speak Out & Make NOYS by designing an educational program for their middle schools. Their goal was to teach middle school students about making good decisions. Their focus was traffic safety, drugs, and alcohol. Working with local law enforcement agencies, Terri and her classmates planned the curriculum and held training events for the high school students that conducted the presentations. Curt Lavarello, a representative from the National Association of School Resource Officers, participated in the presentations, showing participants how they would be handled by police officers if they brought unlawful things to school. Terri and her classmates made 8 trips to the local middle school to complete their project.