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!
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
Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training
Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

Wednesday, May 26


Tuesday, June

Who Should Attend:
This event is open to any adult that interacts with adolescents on a regular basis, whether that be at home, work, volunteering, church group, etc. and are interested in learning more about how to intervene when a youth is struggling with a mental health related challenge.

The training will be offering 6.5 CEUs
Category: Counselor I or II, Preventionist I or II, CARS I or II, CODP I or II, PCGC II, CCJP II, CAAP I, CRSS I or II, CPRS I or II, MAATP I or II, NCRS II, CFPP II, ATE, CVSS II
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.
CGTI 2021
Youth Leadership & Prevention Conference
The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute (CGTI) encourages and empowers youth to become strong, effective leaders in their schools and communities. A key component of the Institute is our Action Team planning, which bring together groups of teens from the same school or geographical area to meet with the goal of identifying and addressing community issues. Teams assess needs and data from their communities, gather resources to assist in addressing those needs, and then lay out a plan to create positive change.
As a prevention program, the Institute also focuses on helping students take an active role in preventing alcohol and drug use among their peers. Through adult and youth partnerships, we address social emotional learning standards with an emphasis on mental health. Institute participants take action to promote healthy lifestyles in their school and communities. CGTI upholds the values of responsible decision making, understanding, and diversity.
The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute will be held virtually Tuesday, July 20 - Thursday, July 22. We will continue to put health and safety first and have made this decision following CDC and IDPH guidelines. We look forward to continuing our critical programming and supporting our youth who are looking to do the work and make an impact. We can't wait to join together on Zoom and share in the joy that is uniting to make a difference. We hope to meet again in person for our Mid-Year conference the weekend of January 14-16, 2022.
For the last few months, FOCUS! has been working on the launch and execution of their youth gambling prevention programming. Through social media, we are showcasing the facts about youth gambling to increase awareness to the general public.
If you or someone you know might be interested in implementing FOCUS! as part of their action plan, contact Sarah Martin, Prevention Program Coordinator, at sarah@ilabh.org.
Below you will find a video that goes more in depth to what FOCUS! is and how youth gambling prevention can get started in your schools and communities.
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.
The Pressure to Prove It
Abby Manak
Downers Grove, IL
Pressure: continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it. That is the first definition of pressure on the internet. In my opinion this is an easier definition than the second definition that comes up: the use of persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something. While many can say that they don’t give into pressure, I think everyone does from time to time, especially when it involves something we are passionate about. Passions vary from person to person; they could be sports, jobs, hobbies, programs, faith, learning, fitness, etc. 
Before this year, if someone told me that I continuously give into pressure, I would have gotten angry and denied it. But the truth is, I have been giving into pressure for so long that it seems normal. I have given into the pressure to prove myself time and time again. The pressure to prove that I care about my school clubs, volleyball, grades, and faith “enough”. And, eventually, this second definition pressure, almost felt like a physical weight holding me down. Before‌ ‌I‌ ‌became‌ ‌a‌ ‌director‌ ‌for‌ ‌my‌ ‌high‌ ‌school‌ ‌Snowball‌ ‌program‌ ‌and‌ ‌had‌ ‌the‌ ‌opportunity‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌a‌ ‌youth‌ ‌advocate,‌ ‌I‌ ‌felt‌ ‌the‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌prove‌ ‌my‌ ‌values,‌ ‌beliefs,‌ ‌and‌ ‌actions.‌ ‌I‌ ‌felt‌ ‌the‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ prove and ‌explain‌ ‌my‌ ‌struggles‌ to those around me.‌ ‌I‌ ‌tried‌ ‌to‌ ‌find‌ ‌a‌ ‌reason‌ ‌for‌ ‌my‌ ‌struggle‌ ‌with‌ ‌depression‌ ‌and‌ ‌anxiety.‌ ‌I‌ ‌felt‌ ‌the‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌explain‌ ‌to my friends why‌ ‌I‌ ‌did‌ ‌not‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌go‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌party,‌ ‌drink,‌ ‌or‌ ‌vape.‌ ‌I‌ ‌always‌ ‌had‌ ‌the‌ ‌excuse‌ ‌of‌ ‌sports,‌ ‌when‌ ‌in‌ ‌reality,‌ ‌I‌ ‌did‌ ‌not‌ ‌owe‌ ‌anyone‌ ‌an‌ ‌explanation for my values.‌ ‌ ‌
We project expectations and pressures that no one has of us. We project the need to perform and prove our worth. You‌ ‌do‌ ‌not‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌reason‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌struggling‌ ‌with‌ ‌mental‌ ‌health, ‌your‌ ‌feelings‌ ‌are‌ ‌valid‌ ‌without‌ ‌a‌ ‌reason.‌ ‌You‌ ‌do‌ ‌not‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌explain‌ ‌to‌ ‌friends‌ ‌or‌ ‌family‌ ‌why‌ ‌you‌ ‌choose‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌alcohol,‌ ‌drug,‌ ‌and‌ ‌tobacco‌ ‌free.‌ You do not need to prove that you care about the things you are passionate about. Once‌ ‌I‌ ‌realized‌ ‌that‌ ‌I‌ ‌did ‌not‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌explain‌ ‌my‌ ‌beliefs‌ ‌to‌ ‌anyone,‌ ‌the‌ ‌pressure‌ ‌was‌ ‌lifted‌ ‌off‌ ‌my‌ ‌shoulders.‌ I am already “enough”. You are already “enough”. ‌I‌ ‌hope‌ ‌that‌ ‌you‌ ‌learn‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌kind‌ ‌to‌ ‌yourself‌ ‌and‌ ‌realize‌ ‌you‌ ‌do‌ ‌not‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌prove‌ ‌your‌ ‌values,‌ ‌beliefs,‌ ‌or‌ ‌actions‌ ‌to‌ ‌anyone.‌ ‌The‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌explain‌ ‌yourself‌ ‌is‌ ‌not‌ ‌necessarily‌ ‌a‌ ‌bad‌ ‌thing,‌ ‌it‌ ‌shows‌ ‌that‌ ‌you‌ ‌care‌ ‌and‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌better‌ ‌yourself.‌ ‌But‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌pressure ‌to‌ ‌provide‌ ‌a‌ ‌reason‌ ‌that‌ ‌can‌ ‌make‌ ‌us‌ ‌overthink‌ ‌our‌ ‌values‌ ‌and‌ ‌beliefs.‌ Remember, you decide who you are and what's important to you. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
OS Team Programming
Schaumburg OS - Stress Awareness Campaign
In April, Schaumburg OS held a campaign to raise awareness about stress. They wanted to highlight the fact that stress can hurt us, but it can also help us - in turn encouraging a balance to our response. Check out a few of their campaign posts below!
West Leyden OS - Virtual Talent Show
West Leyden OS is all about finding creative, healthy, and safe ways to have fun and create a community of caring. This Spring semester they were proud to partner with Peer Mediators in bringing their community the 2nd Annual Virtual Talent Show.

Way to go West Leyden!
Naperville OS - A Million Dreams Virtual Event
Naperville OS held their Spring 2021 event that focused on fostering teen connections in a virtual space. They hosted speakers, workshops and small group sessions. Teen Director, led the group in exploring their goals and how they can support each other to reach “A Million Dreams”. Congratulations on your successful event!
FDA Program
IDHS is looking to hire underage participants to join their team. Individuals must be ages 16-20 years old, and have a flexible schedule.

Interested individuals please contact:
Amy Devine
(240) 839-2892
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 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!
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