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Social Worker helps Youth create radio spots to educate peers about peer pressure, other issues

Students recording radio PSAs at Suffolk Community College. Image courtesy of Silas Kelly.

Students recording radio PSAs at Suffolk Community College. Image courtesy of Silas Kelly.

As a social worker who has worked with young people Silas Kelly is always on the lookout for issues that can have a negative impact on youth.

That is why he jumped at the chance to help teenagers from the Smithtown Youth Bureau in Long Island, NY create radio public service announcements to educate other youth to avoid vapping, underage drinking, peer pressure and marijuana use.

“It is important that the youth came to us because they saw problems like these affecting their peers.  They wanted to do something to educate them about the dangers,” said Kelly, LMSW, a National Association of Social Workers member. He is an adolescent psychiatric social worker as well as an independent radio and podcast producer/host.

Kelly met the teenagers while working as a substance abuse counselor at Horizons Counseling & Education Center, Town of Smithtown. The Smithtown Youth Bureau, a community organization that promotes the emotional and physical well-being of young people and families in Smithtown, NY, is located in the same building.

Members of the organization heard that Kelly was involved in radio and reached out to him to work with youth to make radio public service announcements. Kelly took six youth to Suffolk Community College where they learned about radio PSAs and created four. The PSA on peer pressure ended up being aired on WALK 97.5 FM in 2018.

You can learn more about the students involved in the project and listen to the PSAs here.

Social workers help youth overcome life’s challenges. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers Help Starts Here website.

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