Operation Snowball is an alcohol and other drug use prevention program focusing on leadership development to empower youth to lead drug-free lives. The name originates from the idea that “If I have a positive impact on you, you can have a positive impact on someone else and the effect snowballs.” Out of this concept emerges “A Community of Caring” – the success of Operation Snowball. Operation Snowball is founded on the belief that youth and adults can make responsible decisions when provided with factual information and an opportunity to develop an understanding of one’s self and motivations.
Operation Snowball got its start back in 1977 in Rockford, IL when some participants of the Illinois Teenage Institute (ITI) (now the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute) came back to their community and thought, “we could do ITI back home!” Thus, Operation Snowball was created. In 1979, Operation Snowball, Inc. was created to make the program stronger and to spread the Snowball idea to other communities.
A Comprehensive Prevention Program
- A clear message that it is OK to say no!
- Program is adaptable to any community or school setting and fosters a youth/adult partnership.
- Uses the powerful energy and influence of youth to create an atmosphere of positive peer support.
- Recognizes youth as part of the solution, not the cause of the problem.
- Supports Social Emotional Learning and youth develop attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and cognitive skills that create healthy and competent adults.
- Utilizes SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework in developing the infrastructure needed for a community-based, public health approach.