Conversations with Kids · Education · Family life · Local · Nature-Based Learning · Through the Power of Sport

Adapt: Setting a Course for the Future


On June 6-7, please consider NH Gives, a day of giving for NH non profit organizations. We all have many causes which are near and dear to our hearts.  Adapt ( is just one of mine.   So please mark your calendars and check out the following link for more information:

Adapt is a 501C3 nonprofit organization that has been servicing New Hampshire for more than 20 years. We organize, coordinate, and administer alcohol, tobacco, and other substance abuse, prevention and intervention programs as well as provide youth leadership development and recreational opportunities for children of all ages.  Fourteen years ago when I first arrived at Lin-Wood, executive director Sean O’Brien brought me on as summer camp staff, followed by after school program staff, and, about nine years ago, onto Adapt’s Board of Directors.  Nick Nelsen and Lynn Tilden provide programming at Lin-Wood School along with coordinating trips, youth leadership experiences, and opportunities for kids in surrounding areas.  Adapt also collaborates with the North Country Health Consortium to create YLTA (Youth Leadership Through Adventure) to provide a youth-led prevention and leadership development model for students in Northern New Hampshire middle and high schools. The two consistent priorities for each YLTA group is the prevention of substance use among high school students, and the improvement of school climate. The goals of the YLTA program are to:

  • Give each participant a sense of belonging through place-based service learning projects;
  • Empower youth to provide leadership, self-governance and to promote the benefits of a healthy substance-free lifestyle in their schools and communities;
  • Improve school climate so that positive and healthy substance-free lifestyle choices are supported through practices and policies;
  • Change community norms and culture where healthy substance-free lifestyles are promoted.

As someone who works closely with teenagers every day, I recognize the importance of Adapt in our North Country schools.   We collaborate with area schools, local businesses, police, community members, and other agencies to achieve this goal.  We offer a wide variety of programs and services that offer alternatives to using and abusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Our programs provide positive alternative activities for youth in the towns of service by empowering youths to lead and promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Some of our programs include individual consultation, referrals to agencies, educational information, peer support groups, anti-smoking groups, social skills groups, and a Leaders in Prevention group. We also offer after school activities, open gym, pro-social activities, educational speakers, and one-on-one mentorships. Again, when kids (and adults for that matter) feel more connected to their community and are empowered to become leaders, they are less likely to engage in at risk behaviors.  Adapt helps them to make informed decisions and provide alternative options.

Our mission for over 20 years has been to serve as a leader and a catalyst for improving the health and safety of all youth – ages 5-21 – who reside within the communities we service, by promoting strategic approaches and collaboration with other agencies and programs to reduce Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug use and abuse and other associated problems.  And our vision is to empower local youth, by working with organizations and policy makers to cultivate safe and drug free communities in the Counties of Grafton and Coos, New Hampshire.

NH Day of Giving: June 6-7.  Please consider making a donation towards Adapt.  The precarious nature of grant funding means that we are never quite sure how much programming can continue year to year until the grant applications are funded.  Thank you for taking the opportunity to support Adapt!

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