About Us

Empowering Youth and Families Program is led by an Executive Team from NC State University, East Carolina University, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and funded by the Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from the United States Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Our History

NC 4-H EYFP began in 2017 serving 10 families in 3 North Carolina counties. Since then, we have grown to 11 counties across North Carolina and Tennessee. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also been able to expand our curriculum offerings to include virtual and hybrid formats. As a result, participating counties can now choose which delivery system(s) best meet the needs of their local participants.

The Goal is Prevention

“Prevention” sometimes is conflated with intervention (i.e., “preventing” recidivism). 

EYFP is a true prevention program, aimed primarily at the families of youth who have not started misusing opioids. Participants learn how opioids and other illegal substances affect the brain and refusal skills they can use if presented with a dangerous choice. They also learn how to listen, talk about difficult subjects, and work as a team in ways that build strong families.

  • Goal I: Reduce youth substance misuse in rural NC and TN
  • Goal II: Increase caregivers’ parenting skills to assist youth in making healthy choices
  • Goal III: Enhance family relationships
  • Goal IV: Empower families to lead community change, thereby leveraging support for healthier lifestyles within those communities

Program Overview

This video from 2018 highlights the work done by the first cohort of participants in Mitchell County, North Carolina.

Participating Counties

EYFP 2022 Counties Map
The program is being piloted in the above counties across North Carolina and Tennessee.

Here’s What Our Participants Had To Say