The Nation's Premier Youth Health & Safety Organization
The Nation's Premier Youth Health & Safety Organization


SPEAKS-Graphic_2017SPEAKs 2018

SPEAKs is an intensive 4-day leadership and advocacy training institute (for rising high school juniors and seniors) designed to empower students to address traffic safety issues at the national, state and local levels.

The SPEAKs program consists of three components:

1. Online Training: Content will focus on public speaking, coalition building and basic advocacy skills. There will also be a series of webinars with traffic safety experts on current issues in impaired driving for teens. Finally, students will work with government affairs mentors to develop an advocacy strategy.

2. Visit to Washington D.C.: The capstone SPEAKs event is a four-day, three-night visit to Washington, D.C., where you will meet with representatives of national organizations dedicated to youth safety, Congressional staff focused on transportation policy and federal agency staff responsible for federal policy related to teen traffic safety. You will also plan and moderate a briefing for Capitol Hill staff on teens and impaired driving.

3. Follow-up and Mobilization: Following your visit to Washington, you will put your new skills into practice by working to influence local, state and/or federal policy. You may present at national youth conferences or on national webinars, organize state-level events, utilize social media to spread the word, or help in the development of your respective State Highway Safety Plan.

Dates for Washington, D.C. trip: June 21-23, 2018

Download the SPEAKs flyer here.


Please complete the application below and upload your letter of recommendation. Applications are due by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 15, 2017.

  • Personal Information

  • SADD Chapter Information

  • Social Media

    Social Media will play a key role in the SPEAKs program. All SPEAKs delegates are required to have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts as a condition of participating in the program. Parents with concerns can contact Elizabeth Vermette at evermette@sadd.org to discuss further.
  • (on your page, copy the link at top – for example, facebook.com/name)
  • Essay Questions

  • SPEAKs Agreement

    By signing below, I am pledging the following: ➢ I have the permission of my parent/guardian(s) to apply for the SPEAKs program and have read through the info packet. I understand a parental permission form will be required upon acceptance. ➢ I understand that there will be intense competition for spots in the SPEAKs program. I commit myself to fully participate in the SPEAKs program from May through December, including attending the Washington training this summer, and pledge not to drop out along the way. ➢ I understand that flying on a plane by myself will be the method of travel to Washington, and my parent/guardian(s) and I are comfortable with that (students will be met outside security in Washington and never left unsupervised during the program). ➢ I understand that social media accounts are a required part of the program, and I have set up such accounts if I didn’t already have them. ➢ All the information on this form is honest and accurate to the best of my knowledge.
  • Letter of Recommendation

    Along with this application, a letter of recommendation for from your SADD Advisor is required. Please upload your letter below or email it to Elizabeth Vermette at evermette@sadd.org.
  • Applications and the advisor recommendation must be received by 11:59 pm on December 15, 2017.