JMU organizes a retreat for teenagers to learn skills in safe driving and passenger safety

HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison University is hosting more than 120 Virginia teens representing more than 80 schools from July 14-17 for the YOVASO 2022 “YOVASO Leading the Pack for Safe Teen Driving” Summer Leadership Retreat. The four-day, three-night retreat provides students with educational opportunities to learn how to be safer drivers, passengers and even youth road safety leaders in the near future.

The Summer Leadership Retreat is sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, and State Farm Insurance.

Students and adult leaders are registered to attend. The four-day experience will prepare teens to work in peer-to-peer programs in their schools or through community youth groups to promote safe teen driving and help prevent teen traffic accidents.

The retreat will include keynote speaker Fletcher Cleaves on “The Sky’s Not the Limit”; a simulated live accident and trauma station simulation presented by VCU Health’s IMPACT project; TV quiz show; and workshops on public speaking and the power of advocacy. Teens will also participate in hands-on safety experiences by the American Trucking Association; the Virginia Department of Transportation on work area safety; Operation Lifesaver on rail safety; and the VSP Crash Reconstruction Team, K-9 Unit and Distracted Driving Simulators; and more. The teens will take part in a range of team-building social events that include a glow stick game, a talent show and an amazing race.

“We are thrilled to be back in person for the YOVASO Summer Leadership Retreat after not being able to meet for two years,” said Molly Jackson, Retreat Director. “The retreat provides a fun and educational experience for all teens, whether they’re looking to be safer drivers, learn leadership skills, get involved in community service opportunities, or prepare for future careers. .”

The retreat concludes with an awards banquet to recognize students, schools, youth groups and law enforcement for their hard work and dedication during the 2021-2022 school year to prevent road accidents related to teenagers.

YOVASO is Virginia’s peer-to-peer education and prevention program for teen driver and passenger safety; YOVASO is a program of VSP and is funded by traffic safety grants from the Virginia DMV. Membership in the program is free and open to all high schools, colleges, and youth groups in Virginia. YOVASO currently has 90 active member schools and youth groups.

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