Youth Action

Positivity has a domino effect

March 28th 2022

With the Youth Forum 2022 paving way for further growth of the Youth Initiative, we would like to pay tribute to an aspiring young woman who has continuously worked to advocate for substance use prevention on an individual level and collaborative manner within the youth community.

Meet Alexandra Bravo Schroth, a Youth Forum 2021 participant, who has demonstrated passion and perseverance in learning and finding ways to contribute positively and help those in need in her community. Alexandra continues to be active in substance use prevention through her professional career development as a psychologist and use of her acquired expertise when working with individuals and groups by providing psychological treatment and support. Alexandra worked on a project aimed to support families of individuals with cognitive disabilities. Their aim was to support such families in rural areas of Peru, by developing skills and coping strategies to better manage their stress, improve relationship skills, and ultimately build a support group network where families could feel a sense of co-understanding and rapport.

Families underwent biweekly meetings with psychologists and experts, and training sessions were conducted every month on communication skills, socialization, use of free time, etc to further bolster their learning. Follow-up sessions were also held to provide parents and caregivers time to share their implementation results, talk about struggles, and ask questions and receive feedback from the experts or other caregivers. As the sessions went by, more and more caregivers joined in and the community of families flourished to bond and grow; each observing the improvements in their families, relationships, and their lives.

Having been a university student herself during her participation in the Youth Forum, it is remarkable to see Alexandra’s journey is not only contributing to helping others but also observing her own self-growth and development in her early professional career. Meaningful youth engagement does not only add value to the end outcomes of a project or programme: it should also provide the involved youth with the opportunity to grow as an individual, develop, and feel empowered. Alexandra is also a long-standing contributor to the Youth Magazine, ‘The Butterfly Wings’, where she contributed her perspectives and reflections on substance use prevention. Stay tuned for the soon-to-be-published third issue of ‘The Butterfly Wings’!

Congratulations to Alexandra on following through with her aspirations of being a gamechanger for her community, and we commend her dedication to upholding the values of the Youth Initiative: to learn and grow as a youth, to engage with other youth to advocate for substance use prevention, and lastly, to not only be empowered but also empower others for the cause. You see, positivity has a domino effect!

Made possible with the support of the Russian Federation and the Sovereign Order of Malta