Makin’ It Happen in the 603

Are you a youth (13-18 years old) or a young adult (18 – 25 years old) living in the Greater Manchester Region? Are you looking for a sense of community or want to get involved with prevention-based programs? Then Makin’ It Happen in the 603 is for you! You can gain leadership skills, participate in substance misuse and suicide prevention programs, and come together to share issues and challenges in your school, work, or community, as well as actively take part in identifying solutions.

Participate in a Makin’ It Happen in the 603 program, and help build resiliency in youth, families, and communities. Check out the programs below!

empowerYOUTH!/Leadership (13 – 18 years old)

empowerYOUTH! Forum

Originally launched in 2017, empowerYOUTH! has provided opportunities for high school students to participate in youth leadership trainings and prevention events such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Conference, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and Red Ribbon Week.

The empowerYOUTH! Forum expands participation in these programs and brings youth together with advisors and community partners to share and develop support systems that encourage honest conversations, solution driven-actions, and positive, healthy living strategies.

empowerYOUTH! Forum is available to all upper middle school and high school age youth within the Greater Manchester Region.

empowerYOUTH! CORE Leadership

empowerYOUTH! CORE Leadership values are character, opportunity, respect, and empower. CORE Leadership level is available to empowerYOUTH! members in the 10th-12th grade levels that have demonstrated leadership qualities and have expressed a passion for supporting prevention efforts and provide mentoring to underclassmen. Selected members would need to be recommended by an adult, commit to a year of leadership mentoring, and would qualify for service-learning credits.

For more information on the empowerYOUTH! Forum CORE Leadership program, contact Mary Forsythe-Taber, executive director, at [email protected]

teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) 

teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) is a national program designed to support teens dealing with mental health and substance use issues. It teaches youth how to recognize warning signs in their friends or peers, ask questions and gain good listening skills, and get the help of an adult quickly. MIH believes empowering youth to help their peers will save lives, families, and communities.

For more information about tMHFA, contact us at [email protected].

New Hampshire State Opportunities

By getting involved with Makin’ It Happen in the 603, you have the potential of getting involved with programs that help your community, the region, and the state. Opportunities include the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council, Drug Free NH, Life of an Athlete (LOA), NH Teen Institute, and Media Power Youth.

Makin’ It Happen is also an active member in many national/state/local prevention-based groups, and is always looking to identify opportunities for you to participate and bring your voice to the conversations.

For more information on New Hampshire State Opportunities, contact Mary Forsythe-Taber, executive director, at [email protected].

empowerYOU!/Leadership (18 – 25 years old)

empowerYOU! was originally launched in 2017 as a supporting initiative to empowerYOUTH! The concept was to create mirror training and forum opportunities for the adults that surround a young person. These trainings and forum opportunities were designed to provide vetted information and evidence-based strategies, preparing adults to engage and empower youth to make positive choices. Two robust training series were developed and rolled out. Upon evaluation of feedback and emerging trends, we redesigned this body of work, splitting into two new initiatives: relaunching adult trainings and forums under our Resiliency Essentials programming, and reframing empowerYOU! to encompass our Young Adult Strategies, creating a seamless continuation of empowerment opportunities for individuals post high school level.

empowerYOU! Is an ideal initiative for young adults who are looking for ways to connect to others within this age group that are seeking information, looking for opportunities to mentor youth, or engage in community-based solutions designed to engage, educate, and empower individuals, neighborhoods, and communities to live healthy, substance-free lives.

Check back soon for more empowerYOU!/Leadership program opportunities.

For more information on empowerYOU!, contact Mary Forsythe-Taber, executive director, at [email protected].

Common Threads

The Common Threads video series shares the stories of young adults who live and work in Greater Manchester. The stories tell of their struggles – and their inspiring coping and thriving skills – as they deal with issues impacting them, including mental health, substance misuse/substance use disorder, and suicide issues. 

Interested in sharing these videos and having conversations on issues impacting our young adults? Reach out to us and we will provide you with a facilitator’s guide and the videos.


Building resiliency one voice at a time

Eight communities, filled with youth who see, feel, experience, and have something to say, and we’re listening.

EmpowerYOUTH! is an initiative of the Makin’ it Happen Coalition(MIH) whose goal is to bring Greater Manchester Youth concerns, ideas and passion to the prevention conversation. Working locally, thinking regional, and beyond, the youth come together to share, listen, learn and discuss issues and challenges within their school community. Collectively they identify prevention solutions that they can put into action.

Makin’ it Happen works to secure learning opportunities for the youth and develop partnerships with our core community sectors (Business, Education, Government, Safety/Law Enforcement and Community and Family Supports) with a goal of expanding support to our EmpowerYOUTH! Initiative. In addition, MIH is actively engaged with our state partners to ensure learning, advocacy and strength-based opportunities are brought to the youth of the region.

In March of 2017, MIH partnered with the DEA360 to host a Youth Opioid Summit at the the SNHU Arena. Over 8500 students and their advisors showed up to listen to inspiring stories and messages from dignitaries from local to national. Celebrities; actors and actresses, sports legends all shared their inspiring messages to this packed arena. Jim Wahlberg of the Wahlberg Youth Foundation was on hand and showed a video to the students entitled ‘If Only’. After listening and watching this very moving video, the lights came up and on stage were families holding pictures of loved ones they have lost to the opioid crisis. Of all the events of the day, this one visual, empowered youth from across the region to connect with Makin’ it Happen to say “What can we do? How can we make a difference?”. All the emotion and energy from that event ignited EmpowerYOUTH!

Life of a Teen Podcast

Life of a Teen, Episode 2: Jon DeLena, DEA Takeback

Life of a Teen, Episode 2:  Jon DeLena, DEA Takeback

Life of a Teen, Episode 3: Mental Health, a counselors perspective

Life of a Teen, Episode 2:  Jon DeLena, DEA Takeback

Life of a Teen, Episode 4: Brian O’Keefe, Prevention from a police point of view

Life of a Teen, Episode 4:  Brian O’Keefe, Prevention from a police point of view

Check out this regional resource guide for information and resources on substance use disorder.

Contact Us

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