Promoting youth resilience

The Roanoke Prevention Alliance, the Resiliency Collective, and Roanoke City Public Schools are celebrating Roanoke City youth by promoting community resilience. Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare, Prevention & Wellness Services, and the Roanoke Prevention Alliance (RPA) received a Behavioral Health Equity Grant from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Office of Behavioral Health Wellness to promote the importance of African American and Black youth feeling they matter to the City of Roanoke.

As part of the grant, RPA Resiliency Collective (RC) is partnering with several Roanoke City Public Schools elementary schools to complete an Equity and Resiliency Art Project. The schools include Lincoln Terrace, Roanoke Academy of Math and Science, Hurt Park, Fairview, Monterey, Round Hill, and Westside, reaching an estimated 3,500 students. The students will be provided the opportunity to share stories of support and resilience, to shine gratitude on those they trust that help them the most, and to share their feelings of hope. 

Youth feeling they matter to their community is a protective factor that aids their ability to overcome difficult experiences. According to the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 43.0% of high school students and 52.6% of middle school students reported they feel they matter to people in their community. 

   Focus groups with 104 Roanoke City youth were completed at the Boys and Girls Club, West End Center, YouthHQ @ Goodwill, and Melrose and Main Library branches. The information from the youth was used to develop messages for billboards and social media. All the media messages include pictures of local youth and adults.  

With all the external pressures on our youth today, we need to help build their resilience and make sure they know they matter. Please contact the media contacts listed below for interviews and for a sneak peek of the local youth featured in this initiative. We thank you for helping us show youth that their community cares about them. 

We invite community members to participate in RPA’s social media campaigns to shine appreciation on our youth and to let them know how much they matter. Please like, and share our posts on Facebook, and make your own video to help us create a positive trend on TikTok. Other opportunities for community involvement include attending the Resiliency Collective’s one-hour Be a Resilience Champion presentation. Please reach out to the RPA& RC contact information or visit their web pages to schedule a presentation &/ training.

About Roanoke Prevention Alliance and Resiliency Collective: 

The Roanoke Prevention Alliance (RPA) was created in 1997 to build a coalition of citizens, parents, and professionals devoted to preventing alcohol and drug use among youth and young adults in the City of Roanoke. The mission of RPA is to support the development of resilient, healthy, alcohol, and drug-free youth thereby reducing substance use in adulthood.  The Resiliency Collective (RC) was formed in 2017 in order to best support RPA’s efforts to reduce youth substance use. The RC has over 20+ community partners with a shared agenda that commits to building upon the resilience of youth, families, and communities in the City of Roanoke. The RC educates about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma and teaches how building resilience helps people bounce forward, overcome hardships, and reduce toxic stress. Please visit our websites for more information: or