Meet Herren Project’s New Youth Engagement Specialist
Meet Herren Project’s New Youth Engagement Specialist
Every month we highlight someone in our community who embodies the spirit of our mission to support, inspire and empower those affected by substance use disorder. This month we want to recognize and formally introduce our Youth Engagement Specialist, Isabelle Boullier, who’s better known around Herren Project as, Izzy B.
Prevention and empowering youth are a number one priority at Herren Project. In order to make a more positive impact in what we call “the first day,” we knew we needed to really reach teens and young adults where they’re at. From the day we met Izzy B, we knew there was no one better for the job! As a young adult herself, she has displayed leadership and the “Be You” spirit in everything she does. She brings a new energy and way of thinking to Herren Project; one that definitely qualifies her for this month’s GAME CHANGER.
As Youth Engagement Specialist, Izzy’s job is to engage youth across the country through leadership initiatives while encouraging our “Be You” spirit, letting teens and young adults know their voices matter and that they can make a positive difference.
An Interview with Izzy B.
Q: How would you define your job at Herren Project?
A: My job, or goal really, is to empower youth by providing student-led/serving initiatives that encourage and promote self-growth, leadership development, but also provide a place for their voices to be heard as young adults who just want to fully be themselves AND embrace it!
Q: Do you like your job?
A: As an 18-year-old, I absolutely LOVE my job. I have worked in places in the past where I was limited and felt I couldn’t maximize my capacity and capability as a youth advocate. Here, at Herren Project, almost everything I present, they let me take it and run. It’s been such a joy working here.
Q: What are some initiatives you are working on?
A: I do a lot to try and engage our youth in creative ways. From Youth Ambassadors, to the newest Purple Couch YouTube series to the Inspire Youth Conference. They all coincide to get youth engaged in a meaningful way. They also allow their voices to be heard and to showcase some pretty amazing and inspiring youth who aim to walk alongside Herren Project on our mission.
Q: What is the Purple Couch?
A: Purple couch is a bimonthly YouTube series co-hosted with Eric D. Our motto is” Be You & Come as You Are.” We talk about topics that affect teens today, have fun contests and give them a place to stay up to date on what Herren Project is doing nationally. Empowering youth is important, so we spotlight inspiring youth across the country, sharing how they are making a difference in their community. AND we always end with bloopers!
Q: You mentioned the Youth Ambassador Board, can you tell us more about that?
A: I’m very excited for our first Youth Ambassador Board this fall. As I mentioned, empowering youth and sharing their voice is so important, especially to the prevention of addiction. Our goal is to bring 10-15 middle and high school-aged leaders from our Herren Project Clubs together to share ideas and work together to build upon the already powerful work of Herren Project. If you have a student leader who would be great, please encourage them to apply here.
Q: Did we hear you say youth conference? Please tell us more!
A: It was actually scheduled for this past summer, but with the pandemic we made the tough decision to postpone it a year. We are beyond excited to host Herren Project’s first annual youth empowerment conference called Inspire. It will be July 31, 2021 – August 2, 2021 at Anna Maria College in Worcester, MA. It is open to high school students from across the country. The conference is designed to inspire students to be their best selves by strengthening leadership and personal wellness skills. The goal is to empower students to live healthy, fulfilling lives free of substances and to be leaders in their communities. We have some great speakers lined up, including of course, Chris Herren, in addition to wellness workshops, skill building activities, games and so much more. Registration will open soon, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on the news you can sign up for updates here.
Q: What’s one of the favorite parts of your day?
A: A lot of my time is spent making videos. I have always been very talented in video making, and this has allowed me to be able to jump back into it!! AND, I’ve always “lowkey” (teenage vernacular) wanted to be a YouTuber, so Purple Couch has been so much fun!
Q: What are you most passionate about?
A: Five years ago, my older sister was hit head on by a drunk driver. Thankfully, she survived. From there I started dabbling in community prevention and quickly knew it was my calling. I am passionate in all areas of prevention from (but not limited to) tobacco control, drunk driving, distracted driving, mental health, substance misuse, but also leadership/empowerment and other topics that affect our teens today. And obviously this all led to my decision to study public health.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: My high school senior project! I created a PSA aimed at breaking the stigma around addiction and encouraging recovery. I was able to get my PSA to play for 1 month in theaters across RI. I also made it onto the Rhode Show for my first television appearance.
Q: What are some other leadership roles you have held?
Thank you, Izzy for sharing about your new role and how you are making a difference. Good luck in your freshman year at Roger Williams. There is no doubt you are a true peer leader and game changer. Keep being you!
Fun Facts About Izzy B.
Born and raised in Rhode Island
1 of 7 children – being the 3rd Oldest
I have 4 dogs! 3 Bulldogs and a Saint Bernard. Koda Bear is my lil baby
2020 high school graduate
I love Art & Music
Headed to Roger Williams University to study Public Health & International Relations
Favorite color is blue or red & those make PURPLE
I LOVE traveling – my dream destination is Australia
Received the Spirit of Purple Award from Herren Project