REALITY Illinois is an anti-tobacco campaign developed by Illinois’ teens and funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) as part of the Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities Program. Through this program Will County students participate in a civic engagement project, called Engaging Youth for Positive Change (EYPC). EYPC is an evidence-based transformative program that empowers young people to work with local governing bodies to adopt policies that create healthier communities.
Through EYPC, participating youth gain important research, analytical, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills, and most importantly, valuable real-world experience. Youth get the opportunity to work on real social and community change projects such as smoke-free public spaces. We’ve coordinated very successful EYPC/Reality IL groups across Will County since 2005 in Joliet, Wilmington, Braidwood, Peotone, and Plainfield culminating in public health policies being developed by students and implemented in their communities. If you’d like to learn more about EYPC, please visit https://www.cprd.illinois.edu/products/eypc.