On Thursday, February 9, 2012, an Above the Influence teen group from Essex, Vermont received national attention as winners of MTV’s Unwasted Weekend Challenge. The Challenge asks teens to submit a video depicting what they would do to make the most of a weekend in their hometown. The Essex CHIPS (Community Helping to Inspire People to Succeed) Above the Influence teen group was selected out of hundreds of submissions nationwide to share their ideas and creativity.
Over 200 high school students attended a first viewing of the winning video created by CHIPS in advance of its public debut on February 14, 2012. The event provided students and community leaders with a true premiere experience—a walk along the red carpet with gold posts and a photo opportunity in front of a backdrop branded with the logos for Above the Influence and Essex CHIPS. Local elected officials from the Vermont State House of Representatives, Vermont State Senate, and officials from the Vermont Department of Public Health also participated in the Unwasted Weekend Challenge celebration.
Above the Influence is reaching teens in local communities across the country. Young people are engaged directly to inform and inspire the campaign with the goal of rejecting drug use and other negative influences, and youth-serving organizations have found value in partnering with the national campaign to further their respective missions.
More information on Essex CHIPS and its winning video submission can be found here.