In 1984, a group from the community posed the question, “how can Virginia empower teens to fight substance abuse?” They determined teens needed to be added to their planning efforts. In 1985, teens from across the state met at Graves Mountain Lodge and identified issues that are important to youth. These issues included: getting along with others, achieving in school, abuse of alcohol, feelings of loneliness, use of illegal drugs, making career choices, and drinking and driving. They also noted low assertiveness in telling others not to drink and drive or taking actions to prevent drunk driving. It was then determined that utilizing peer leadership to address the issue of drinking and driving was best.
1984: Organizers met to discuss ways to empower youth in ongoing efforts against substance abuse.
1985: The first Youth Alcohol Abuse Prevention Project( YAAPP) conference was held in July.
1986: The Wheeler Award was created to honor Billie and Morris Wheeler.
1987: YADAPP is renamed the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP).
1988: The Junior Staff role is created to describe a different level of youth leadership.
1989: Teams expanded to include four students and one adult sponsor.
1996: The Junior Staff created the Strategies To Act Now (STAN) Plan process.
2001: Conference Intern role is officially created to expand upon peer leadership opportunities.
2002: YADAPP mission is developed into its current form.
2012: Separate workshops were added for Adult Sponsors.
2016: The Strategic Prevention Framework planning process was added to the STAN Plan