Walk in the shoes of a teenager and you may be shocked by the pressures these young adults DRD_0417.jpgface day in and day out. In addition to the daily struggle of school work, teens are subjected to peer pressure, bullying and the constant desire to fit in socially.  Most studies show one of the most effective ways to guide a teenager is through peer-to-peer mentoring.

In order to have a significant and meaningful impact on teens, United Way of Broward County’s Commission on Substance abuse created the Broward Youth Coalition (BYC). This group of more than 50 high school drug free youth leaders come together on a bi-monthly basis to create, develop and put into action positive, social change activities as it relates to underage drinking, substance use/abuse, bullying, peer pressure & other interrelated issues.  

Chrisnatha Derosier found out about BYC while she was a student at Fort Lauderdale High School in 2001. Not knowing what to expect, she and her friends began to get involved with BYC and according to Chrisnatha, the program forever changed her life.

Crisnatha credits her time with BYC for inspiring her current career as a motivational speaker and author. As a result of her proven success at spreading positivity and making an impact on teenager’s lives, Chrisnatha was asked to serve as the Keynote Speaker at the Coalition’s annual Leadership Training Institute. Her message was about how important the teenage years are in forming who a person will become as an adult. If you stay strong, lean on your friends and resist the urges of peer pressure, alcohol and drug use, you are setting yourself up for a successful life.  

“Thanks to the efforts of United Way of Broward County’s Commission on Substance Abuse, programs like BYC will change the lives of the teenagers in this area. I am living proof it is possible to create your own path in life, free from the pressures of bullying and substance abuse.”