Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reality Party

Our Youth Leadership Program teens threw a party over the weekend. They worked hard to prepare for the big shindig—lugging the keg into the house, setting up a makeshift bar with bottles, and putting out colorful mounds of unidentified pills. They told all their friends to come and that they couldn’t miss out. They were expecting over 100 people. What makes this party different from the ones you read and hear about? This was the first Casa Youth Shelter YLP “Reality Party.”

High school volunteer members of Casa Youth Shelter's Youth Leadership Program

In an effort to foster youth development, this “party” promoted social change regarding underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, marijuana, prescription drug misuse and other concerns using improvisation and interactive techniques to engage discussion, explore issues, and develop personal and community solutions to these issues.

Photos depict fictional scenes with actors. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 

Parents and other adults engaged in a 30-minute tour through a mock “teen drinking party” that is characteristic of what the teens in our program regard to be “normal parties.” Volunteer teenagers from our YLP and Young Marines followed a script to act out realistic scenes and powerful events that were eye-opening to their adult onlookers.

Teens acting out smoking THC wax with a vape pen.

Teenage actors depicting a "keg stand" and a "beer bong." 

Teens acting out a game of "beer pong."

Scenes depicted overindulgent drinking games and the relentless peer pressure to binge drink. The teens acted out drunken fighting and debauchery. One image portrayed a young couple getting into a heated argument ending with the angry boyfriend, who was clearly heavily under the influence, stumbling to his car and ignoring his girlfriend’s heed not to drive impaired. A “date rape” victim was the focus in one panorama, as a young girl too intoxicated to even walk or speak was carried unknowingly into a bedroom. The last vignette of the tour featured the actors from the party congregating in a dark bedroom with candles. Dialogue from the events of the evening was acted out for the adult spectators including a conversation regarding the sexual assault. After each actor spoke, he or she blew out their candle until the room was dark. The ceremonial candle scene was powerfully emotional and the most impactful part of the tour. As tour participants exited the home they witnessed a deadly car accident resulting from the poor decision of the young man they saw earlier, courtesy of our friends from M.A.D.D.

The last part of the tour gave the spectators a chance to deliberate about what they saw in a question and answer session conducted by local law enforcement volunteers, which really gave insight on the reality of the “Reality party." Twin Town Drug Treatment Center, the Los Alamitos Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff were available for discussion. The goal is to help parents and other influential adults be more aware and really understand the group culture of teen drinking parties and the very real pressures. This experience will provoke more meaningful and relevant discussions with parents and their children.

Representatives from Los Alamitos Police Department, Twin Town Treatment Centers, Casa Youth Shelter, and Orange County Sheriff's office. 

Many adults feel drinking and drug use is a rite of passage and think teen parties are the same as when they were young. Our "reality party" urges parents to face the current realities and learn why and how we as a community need to help change these dangerous social norms in our own neighborhoods. Here are results of a survey we conducted.

Before the tour: 
95% of participants said they would not host a supervised “house party”
95% said they would not allow their son or daughter attend a “house party” given that they didn’t drive afterwards
95% said there were dangers with “house parties” even if supervised
92% said they would allow their son or daughter to attend if it was supervised

After the tour, all these values changed to 100%.

To learn more about our “Reality Party” or to receive help please contact us at agency@casayouthshelter.org.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. My friend who works with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer suggested that we must ask any lawyer which you are going to hire about implications of drunk driving and texting behind the wheel. If they don't know them, they probably do not have enough experience for defending your case.