Youth Working Group

The Youth Working group is co-led by Laurie Meschke, professor at the UT Department of Public Health, and Betsy Lowe, Safety Nurse Consultant at the Department of Children’s Services of Tennessee. The group guides the adaptation and implementation of youth prevention programing and facilitates the Youth Development Collaborative (YDC). The YDC meetings focus on training in Youth Development practices and assessing strategies and areas of need. The Youth Working Group also serves to identify funding opportunities by which to expand the incorporation of youth development practices in the prevention of OUD. If you have an interest in learning more or contributing to these efforts, please join us at our 1 p.m. meetings on the third Thursday of each month.

Current Initiatives

  • Collaborate with and engage in communities, schools, youth organizations, youth professionals, youth and parents
  • Develop youth developmentally appropriate curriculum and activities
  • Deliver youth developmentally appropriate after school programs
  • Develop and implement parenting classes
  • Incorporation OUD prevention in curriculum and YDC trainings
  • Develop resources and foster collaborations
  • Provide youth development support and expertise

The Youth Working group has created several trainings that support and promote healthy youth development. Those trainings can be found here.

Contact Information

For inquiries regarding the working group, please contact Dr. Meschke via email ( or phone (865-964-8368).