Upcoming OS, Inc. Trainings
We are offering free OS, Inc. training registrations. Our hope is to take financial strain off by offering additional trainings throughout the year. We have six more trainings scheduled through the remainder of the school year. These trainings are also open to prevention professionals interested in learning more.
Stress Management

Do you feel that your time is not your own? Are the pressures of balancing your work/school and personal responsibilities causing stress in your life? You are not alone. Managing your priorities and minimizing the stress in your life are the two most significant issues facing people today. Having too much to do in too little time is a reality for all of us. However, the stress caused by this situation can affect your performance. This workshop will provide the participants with the key skills of managing both their stress and their time. It will provide them with skills that will help them feel more in control of their lives and give them greater satisfaction.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Thursday, April 1
Virtual Session
6:30-7:30PM CST
Facilitation Beyond Basics

This session provides participants with advanced tools and techniques for facilitating small groups. The workshop will guide participants through an assessment of leadership styles and provide tips for using your strengths to improve your skills as a facilitator and to support the members of your leadership team. This interactive training incorporates role play scenarios, discussions and feedback. Participants will leave this training with tips on how to structure the small group experience, an understanding of different types of leadership styles, tips on how to manage small groups and keep the conversation on track, ideas for incorporating appropriate activities into small group experiences, a guide to the stages of group development, and an increased confidence in your ability to be an effective Snowball leader.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Wednesday, April 28
Virtual Session
6:00-7:00PM CST
Social Culture
& Addictive Behaviors

Addiction can occur in many forms. Often, it is assumed that physical dependence characterized by withdrawal symptoms is required in order for someone to be diagnosed with an addiction disorder, but the fact is that behavioral addiction can occur with all the negative consequences in a person’s life minus the physical issues faced by people who compulsively engage in drug and alcohol abuse.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Tuesday, May 11
Virtual Session
7:00-8:00PM CST
How To Use Emotional Intelligence To Lead And Adapt To Change

There are several different kinds of intelligence, and yet we focus so much on just IQ. Research shows that emotional intelligence (EQ) is the best predictor of long-term success in the workplace. So, why aren’t we as leaders doing more to hone this powerful skill set for ourselves—and to transfer this knowledge? We will break down the qualities of an emotionally intelligent leader and learn clear, actionable ideas on how to integrate these into our lives for maximum impact.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Monday, May 24
Virtual Session
6:00-7:30PM CST
Leadership, Job Readiness,
& Career Workforce

Early youth employment experiences are critical to preparing young people to access living-wage careers when they finish their education. Both employers and youth serving providers want to know that young people are prepared when they enter these first jobs or internships, and while most people have a general understanding that “soft skills” are critical to preparation, there has been little consensus on which soft skills are most important, and how to talk about them.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Tuesday, June 8
Virtual Session
6:00-7:30PM CST
Take a Leap, It Will be Worth It

As human beings, it is part of our inherent nature to ensure that we are safe and secure. When man first roamed the earth there were dangers everywhere from wild animals to poisonous berries and part of our brain was programmed to make us avoid danger or discomfort. Instead we sought safety and comfort wherever possible. That survival strategy is still very valid today and every perceived "danger" takes a different form which is why we often sit in our comfort zone(s). In our comfort zone we can operate in an anxiety neutral and risk free way and we know we can be, deliver or perform in a "steady" way. Some people are quite content to stay in that zone, for others they seem to go to the extreme of risk by throwing themselves over that boundary again and again. Each of these behaviors has a cost and a benefit.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Thursday, June 17
Virtual Session
6:00-7:00PM CST
Click and open the catalog to view dates, times, topics, and descriptions of trainings offered. To reserve your spot, find the links in the catalog and make sure to register.
Operation Snowball, Inc.
Membership Team/Individual Enrollment
Have you submitted your team's information yet? As you know, we ask for updated information each year, but gone are the days of accreditation fees and training costs!

We are now be offering FREE team and individual registrations. No longer do we have accreditation fees and individuals can sign up versus being affiliated with a team or group from your school.

If your team has not done so already, please take a few moments to have the primary adult contact fill out the enrollment form below so you continue to receive information from Operation Snowball, Inc. and can run programming under our name.
Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute Conference
Please save the date for our CGTI's summer leadership conference. More details and applications will be available soon. Continue to visit our website for updates.
Amplifying Youth Voices

Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors have been spending the past few months working hard writing articles, creating resources, and engaging our snowball community online.
Carter Langston
Flossmoor, IL
The butterfly effect, simply put, is a theory that explores how small events can have impacts that lead to much bigger occurrences. A butterfly flapping its wings won't cause a typhoon alone, however it can serve as a catalyst for events that lead up to a typhoon. I believe this theory can be applied to everyday life because we are all interconnected. Consider this: prior to the pandemic, if you saw someone on the street and decided to do something nice for them, such as helping them with their groceries, that could potentially boost their mood. Then, with that boosted mood, they decided to help someone else, and the effect snowballs, but it all stemmed from the simple act of you helping the person with their groceries. Knowing this I believe we should apply certain principles of emotional intelligence to our everyday lives.
The foundation for all other types of emotional intelligence is self-management. Before you can branch out into applying emotional intelligence to others, you must first understand yourself and your emotions. So often we are taught to be kind to others, and while this is very important, being kind to yourself is just as critical. By this I don’t mean giving yourself a hug, (although that does sound fun), but analyzing what triggers different emotions within you. By understanding your own emotional make-up you can begin to define positive coping mechanisms to react to certain situations. These mechanisms can range from listening to music to reading a book or even going for a drive. Once you have defined these mechanisms, you are now able to deal with these emotions more appropriately. By understanding and dealing with your emotions accordingly, you have the potential to now positively affect someone else's life and begin the snowball effect because your own emotions are no longer a barrier.

To build upon self-management, we should utilize social awareness. Social awareness is not that much different from self-management. Empathy for others is an integral part of social awareness and is something that we should consistently employ. The common way empathy is explained is “putting yourself in that person’s shoes.” While this is an excellent way of describing empathy, I believe we should go beyond that. We should not only see things from that person's perspective, but assess what forms of assistance they may need in that particular situation and supply them with it. In doing this, you are not only improving that person's mood, you are also setting them up to be a potential starting point for the snowball effect due to that positive mood change. 

We should apply empathy in the words we speak as well. At some point, we are all taught the common mantra, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” While the sentiment behind this statement, the words that others say are not important, is valid, the reality is: words can very much hurt. Knowing this, we should choose our words carefully. Always imagine how you would react if those words were said to you, and formulate what you say based on that knowledge. Not only does this remove potentially unwanted negatively from the atmosphere, in choosing friendly words, you are consequently setting others up to begin the snowball effect mentioned earlier.

By following these principles, you can continue to help others in their time of need. This help will eventually wrap around back to you, when someone helps you in a critical time in your life, because we are all interconnected. I urge you to employ these fundamentals of emotional intelligence in all aspects of your life and continue to benefit yourself, as well as others. 
April Monthly Challenge
Our Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors have been busy brainstorming to ensure the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year is full of innovative programming and new ways to our community to stay connected.
Happy Happenings Campaign
We invite you to take part in the our Happy Happenings monthly challenge. Print out this sheet or take a screenshot & save it on your phone and remember to check in each morning for the daily act of kindness. Keep track and see how many you complete.

Please share pictures and videos with us on social media of you finding happiness throughout your day by using the hashtag #OSHappyHappenings.
Let's work to find joy in the big, small, and everything in-between things of our lives!
School-Based Mental Health Learning Opportunities
Suicide Prevention Learning Collaborative (April-May, Ongoing Consultation Support)
We are recruiting area schools/districts for this intensive learning collaborative that will help participating schools/districts develop and implement data-driven, evidence-based, and culturally relevant suicide prevention plans.
Interested schools/districts should complete the interest form by April 6. 
This webinar helps teach parents and caregivers how to recognize the signs of depression and other mental health problems, strategies to talk with their child about mental health, and learn how to access mental health services and supports. 
This 4-part webinar series explores research on belonging and connectedness, the key tenants of virtual communication for educators, and effective strategies for building virtual connectedness. Catch-up on the first session here!
  • Classroom WISE: Mental health literacy course for educators and school staff.
  • Racial Disparities in ADHD: Lunch & Learn series for educators & parent webinar
For inquiries and scheduling requests please contact Riley Blythe
riley@ilabh.org | 217.528.7335 ext. 27
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis, call or text a suicide hotline (toll free, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week):
  • Text HELLO to 741741 to connect with someone
  • Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Call 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) for hearing & speech impaired
  • Call 1-866-488-7386 for the Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth
MISSION STATEMENT: Through the development of leadership skills, Operation Snowball shall be a youth and adult partnership, providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.
Operation Snowball, Inc.

937 South 2nd Street | Springfield, IL 62704
217.528.7335 ext. 27