Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Teen Institute?

Teen Institutes are comprehensive programs designed to train, mobilize and empower youth to prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and self-destructive behaviors in themselves and their peers. Teen Institutes emphasize peer leadership and positive life skills development.

What is Georgia Teen Institute?

Georgia Teen Institute is a leadership training program of GUIDE, Inc. for middle and high school students with a focus on teaching Youth Action Teams how to use the Strategic Prevention Framework to plan and implement projects in their home communities related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention; community engagement and volunteerism; and other pertinent issues. Georgia Teen Institute is a dynamic, fun and innovative way for middle and high school students and Adult Advisors to learn new skills, meet new people and become empowered to create change in their schools and communities.

What is a Youth Action Team (YAT)?

Youth Action Teams are formal groups of youth with at least one Adult Advisor that plan and implement peer-focused prevention and community service projects that positively impact their peers and/or their communities. Youth Action Teams can be established in or affiliated with schools, community organizations, faith communities, businesses, agencies, civic groups, neighborhoods or anywhere that youth naturally congregate or are invited to participate.

What are the desired qualities of students attending the conference?

Youth who:

  • Are proud to be alcohol, tobacco and other drug free;
  • Are motivated enough to give service to their school or community and do the hard work it takes to make a difference in the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs;
  • Have displayed or have the potential to develop leadership skills;
  • Have good listening skills and will respect others by not talking when they are;
  • Will reach out to people while still taking good care of themselves, and not putting others before their own best interests;
  • Are likely to earn the trust of peers, parents and administrators; and
  • Represent the diversity (race, ethnicity, religion, gender, peer group, etc.) of their school or community.

How is Georgia Teen Institute funded?

GUIDE, Inc. receives funding for Georgia Teen Institute from a variety of sources including the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), Office of Prevention Services and Programs. Some of these funds are utilized to provide scholarships to teams from certain counties to attend our program and to provide year-round support to those teams.

Where does Georgia Teen Institute take place?

Camp is held at Oxford College of Emory University in Oxford, GA. Oxford is located on the original campus of Emory University and has been home to our summer program since 1991. We are fortunate to be able to use this location each year. Oxford College and Emory University are not affiliated in any way with the Georgia Teen Institute program.

How can I contact Georgia Teen Institute staff?

For more information about our program, or if you have questions not answered on the website, you can contact Mary Kate C. Chapman (678-377-4139) or Sarah Stokes (678-377-4136). Our mailing address is P.O. Box 1922, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

If you are visiting our office, we are located at 750 S. Perry Street, Suite 310, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

Are there individual opportunities for volunteering available?

Yes, there are volunteer opportunities available for various programs and events for persons 18 years and older. Our Volunteer Application is available here.

What are the GTI staff policies?

The GTI Staff Policy Handbook is reviewed and updated annually. You may download the most recent version of the document here: GTI 2015 Staff Policy Handbook.

What time should students arrive? What time should they be picked up?

Check-in on the first day of the program is between 9:30 and 11:30 am, and all students should arrive during this time to get signed in, pick up materials and move into their dorm room. We have a full week and it starts immediately. Students should not be late or they will miss important aspects of the program.

The Closing Session on the last day is from 11:15 am – 12:15 pm. Parents, siblings and others from your school or community are welcome to join us at this session. Students may check out of their rooms and leave after the session is over. Students must be picked up and leave the Oxford College campus no later than 1:30 pm on the last day.

Will my son/daughter be supervised while at GTI?

Yes! Georgia Teen Institute Staff and Adult Advisors who attend with teams all participate in supervision of participants. We employ approximately 50 Youth and Adult Staff who run all sessions and programs, serve as hall staff and provide general supervision. The Adult Advisors who attend with each team are responsible for knowing where their students are at all times. The student to adult ratio is approximately 3:1.

Can my son/daughter bring their cell phone to GTI?

Georgia Teen Institute has a comprehensive technology policy that we take very seriously. If you choose to allow your child to bring technology to camp, it is expected that our policy will be adhered to at all times. Please review the document here: Georgia Teen Institute Technology Policy.

Can my son/daughter come to the conference alone and join another team?

No. Teams must be formed before coming to the Georgia Teen Institute program.

Are scholarships available for Georgia Teen Institute?

GUIDE, Inc. receives some grant funding that allows for scholarships for specific teams, but these are very limited, and most teams are not eligible for these funds.

We encourage you to seek support from your Safe and Drug Free Schools office, PTAs, local businesses and corporations for assistance, and we are happy to provide information for grants or proposals by request.