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Online Applications Are Due November 27, 2023

CPA CAN is an innovative collegiate leadership program that provides opportunities for college students to develop new skills and engage their peers around stimulant and opioid misuse prevention and positive mental health across Pennsylvania. This program encourages powerful, thoughtful, and strategic collaboration among student participants to create a lasting impact on their campuses and communities.

The program is designed to leverage the passion, lived experiences, and talents of students who are passionate about solving problems, connecting them to their peers across many disciplines, building strategic high-trust relationships, and offering practical skills for enhancing their own lives, their schools, and their communities. Working in partnership with a wide variety of local partners, CPA launched CPA CAN to connect a diverse cohort of students committed to peer-to-peer leadership engagement around opioid and stimulant misuse prevention and mental health issues.

Expectations and Benefits of Participation

CPA CAN participants work with other students to engage in experiences designed around their interests and Pennsylvania’s opioid and stimulant misuse prevention and mental health needs. They help create messages to be used on PA campus by utilizing PA’s PaStart and PaStop campaigns, expanding the way prevention is defined and addressed on college campuses. They  fully explore problems and propose bold solutions with achievable implementation strategies. They also develop and implement a signature project, regularly sharing ideas and outputs with CPA and advocating for resources to help implement effective prevention in PA.

Curriculum & Faculty

CPA provides the tools for participants to carry out a project and will be with them throughout the entire process. The curriculum focuses on how to bring about strategic change and how to bring a group of people through that change process. CPA CAN recognizes the natural tension that exists between individual development and community development and focuses on four key concepts and six core principles to stimulate and cultivate each participant’s unique leadership profile, while simultaneously supporting them as they work together to expand the definition of prevention in PA and address the issues important to them. Participants engage in discussions led by local, national, and international experts from government, the academic community, and the social profit and private sectors.


CPA CAN applicants should be outstanding student leaders who are in a position to bring about strategic change within their school communities. A CPA CAN candidate will usually be a student who has some decision-making authority in a collegiate organization. Candidates should be committed to prevention and to working in a diverse environment. Applicants should be eager to take on broader responsibilities with the goal of leading prevention efforts on their campus. Priority will be given to students of color, women, younger students, and students with untapped leadership potential. Applicants must be currently enrolled students at an accredited PA college or university.

If you are a college student in Pennsylvania who is passionate about solving problems and creating change, join our mailing list and look for our next call for participants. Together, we can make a difference in our communities and work towards a brighter future.

CPA CAN FAQ 2023-24

CPA CAN is the cutting-edge collegiate leadership program of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA). It has been designed to create opportunities for college students to develop new skills and new ways of engaging their peers around opioid prevention issues across the state of Pennsylvania. The program will encourage powerful, thoughtful, and strategic collaboration.

CPA CAN is designed for students who have a passion for addressing and solving campus problems. This is a program for students who are willing to put shared interests above their own. It is a program for students who who are interested in advocacy, communications, community engagement, and ending stimulant and opioid misuse. This is a program designed for students who are willing to work to solve real problems.

CPA CAN is being launched by the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) and is a part of the PA Start and PA Stop initiatives. The program is being designed and coordinated by CPA partner, Common Ground Consulting LLC.

CPA CAN will focus on key concepts and core principles designed to stimulate and cultivate each participant’s unique leadership profile while simultaneously supporting them as they work together to address opioid prevention issues across the state of Pennsylvania. The program will offer access to global expertise, significant problem-solving resources, and state-of-the-art curricula.

No. Neither the U.S. or Pennsylvania governments have been involved in designing the architecture of CPA CAN, nor are they involved in day-to-day management. CPA CAN does have primary funding through PA government.

There will be approximately 12-15 student leaders involved in the inaugural year of CPA CAN.

There is no cost for participants to engage in CPA CAN activities. The majority of events and activities will take place online using virtual tools. Travel, food, and lodging costs will be covered if there are in-person gatherings. Participants who complete the program will also receive an honorarium of $800.

Participants should expect to spend 3-5 hours per month when school is in session.

Yes. While we understand emergencies happen, it is expected that participants will attend each regularly-scheduled CPA CAN activity. Dates for all events will be available at the start of each program year. Absence from scheduled events will be taken very seriously and could result in removal from the program.

The program is not formally affiliated with any particular institution of higher education, but the curriculum is recognized globally and certificates will be offered to participants who complete all program requirements.

“Being part of a cohort of students passionate about prevention inspired my own work in public health. I hope the CPA CAN continues for years to come.”
— Inaugural CPA CAN Student

“Attending the CPA conference on behalf of CPA CAN magnified my understanding of stimulant and opioid misuse prevention. I learned harm reduction initiative strategies and how to utilize my fellow youth advocates to initiate meaningful change.”
— Inaugural CPA CAN Student

“CPA CAN has given me a network of individuals to connect and collaborate with for answers, resources, and support [around the opioid crisis]. CPA CAN was the spark I needed to ignite my own project to benefit others.”
— Inaugural CPA CAN Student

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