Georgia Teen Institute (GTI)

Georgia Teen Institute (GTI), an initiative of Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc. (GUIDE), is a youth leadership program for Youth Action Teams throughout Georgia. The institute begins with a summer training program and continues with year-round support. GTI is dedicated to providing young people in middle and high schools with opportunities to become strong leaders.

Youth teams attend a four-day residential camp held at Oxford College to develop leadership skills and engage in the Strategic Prevention Framework planning process through workshops, team meetings, and team building activities. The teams work to plan and implement peer-focused substance abuse prevention and community service projects. GUIDE follows up throughout the year with additional training and technical assistance, networking meetings and monthly reports outlining teams’ actions and activities.

The goal of GTI is to provide education training and motivation to middle and high school students and Adult Advisors in an effort to assist them in:
  • Developing or enhancing sound habilitative concepts and life skills
  • Designing and implementing effective prevention initiatives which will have a positive impact on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and other health and safety problems within their communities
  • Promoting peer-led prevention in school and community activities

GTI seeks to reduce the frequency of underage alcohol use, tobacco and other drug use and other self-destructive behaviors by guiding students to realize their leadership potential, learn new skills and become empowered to create change in their schools and communities.

Students learn to look at challenges not as roadblocks to be feared or ignored, but as opportunities to be embraced and overcome. They are given the chance to work in a climate that puts them in control with adults there as guides and advocates for their vision. Students leave GTI with a sense of confidence, purpose and motivation that continues on throughout the school year and also throughout their lives.

OBHP provides funding to support the GTI.