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The CGTI Blog is our spot for updating our communities on our latest news as well as the latest news on prevention, mental health, and other relevant topics. The CGTI Blog features guest spots from our Action Teams, Volunteer Staff and our Youth Advisory Committee!

CGTI 2022 Updates

June 22, 2022

There are just 25 days until we're "Back and Better Than Ever" at CGTI fully for the first time in three years! As we get closer to July, there are a few updates we wanted to share. 


Acceptance Packets

Acceptance packets will be emailed to all registered participants today! These packets include information about registration, the CGTI agenda, packing lists, and more. Included with the packets, there is a form to fill out roommate selection, workshop selection and our CGTI survey! This survey helps ensure that we are able to host the best events possible and that CGTI is making a positive impact on those who attend. Anyone who does not fill out a form will be randomly assigned both workshops and a roommate - if your school or team sent a rooming list, those will be used for roommate selection.

If you indicated on your form that you will be taking medication at CGTI or that you are currently seeing a doctor for any medical reasons, then you will also receive a medical form to ensure that our contracted nurse has all the information she needs. 

Please make sure to read the acceptance packet thoroughly so that you are prepared for arrival and dismissal times, dorm needs and the event overall. 

If you have any questions about the packet or any of the forms included, you can email our VP of Program, Ashley Webb, as ashley@ilabh.org. 


Theme Days

A fun part of the packing process is preparing for our Theme Days! Each day at CGTI, we incorporate a Theme Day to add a little extra fun. You can find the Theme Days below - have fun and get creative! 

Sunday - School/Action Team/Operation Snowball shirt from your community 

Monday - Theme Shirt (provided at registration)

Tuesday - Hats and Tattoos-day (some tattoos will be provided but feel free to bring your own! You can also purchase a hat at the CGTI store.) 

Wednesday - Heroes and Villains Day

Wednesday Night Celebration - A Night Full of Stars (gold and silver theme)

Thursday - Neon Day (check out our CGTI store for neon options!) 


CGTI Store

Speaking of Theme Days, we'll have some options that match those themes at the CGTI Store! We're excited to announce what merch will be available at our store soon, but you can expect some great clothing items as well as functional items like water bottles.

The store takes cash and credit/debit. We'll also be selling snacks during free time and at night during dorm floor free time. We hope you're ready to rock the CGTI swag! 



General Sessions 

If you follow us on social media, (@cg_ti on Instagram, @CGTI12 on Twitter and Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute on Facebook), you may have seen that we've announced all our General Sessions! We are so thrilled to have such an incredible group of keynote speakers joining us for the week to share their knowledge, passion and leadership with us. Make sure to give them a follow on their own socials, check out the inspiration behind their incredible talents and share some CGTI warm fuzzies with them before their arrival!

Sunday Yvonne Williams 

Monday Mykee Fowlin

Tuesday - De'Marco Fomby

Wednesday - Javier Sanchez 


We are counting down the days until we are together once again working to make an impact across our state. We hope you're as excited as we are. We will see you all so SOON!

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Call for Presenters

March 8, 2019

In July 2019, CGTI is conducting its 45th annual Teen Institute, a five-day leadership conference sponsored by IABH. It is an award-winning program that offers opportunities for youth around the state to learn about leadership, healthy choices, and working with others to create better communities.

This year the theme for CGTI 2019 will be HOPE (Healthy Outcomes through Prevention Education).

We are looking for dynamic presenters to empower our participants and communities, as they seek opportunities to be catalyst for change. We have several workshops available for middle school and high school participants, as well as workshops for adult mentors. We would love for you to present at CGTI this summer at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

Our budget for presenters is limited, but we will consider your request for an honorarium and/or reimbursement for travel and expenses. Presenting at CGTI is a great way to get your message (and your name) out to hundreds of youth and adults from across the state of Illinois.

Presentation topics should be related to:

  • Substance Use Prevention(ATOD opioid crisis, juuling/vaping, marijuana, & alcohol)
  • Leadership
  • Mental Health Awareness (self confidence, body image, positive self-talk, susicide prevention, stress management)
  • Communication (resume building, interviewing)
  • Bullying Prevention
  • Teambuilding and Facilitation skills

Teens Reaching and Achieving Excellence (TRAX) workshops will be held Monday, July 22 and Wednesday, July 24 for 60 minutes. Round Robins will be held Tuesday, July 23 for 60 minutes. General Sessions will be held Sunday through Wednesday for 45 minutes.

A firm deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, April 15, 2019 at 4:00PM. Should you have any questions regarding CGTI 2019, please contact Ashley Webb at ashley@ilabh.org.

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That's a wrap!

August 9, 2017

Another year in the books for the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute and it was one of the best ones yet!

Last month, we held our 43rd annual conference at Eastern Illinois University, a campus that we have happily called home base for five years. This year our theme was "Color Y(our) Future," with each of our discussion groups being named after a color. We thought color was the perfect representation for our camp: a bunch of individuals coming together to make something beautiful and bright!

As with each year, before we could begin welcoming our participants, our staff arrived Friday afternoon for a weekend of training. Between presentations and planning, scavenger hunts and trivia, we we're able to spend a little time bonding and prepping for the week ahead.

The participants arrived to our chorus of honking cars and cheering staff on Sunday afternoon and after unpacking and doing energizers, attended our opening ceremony. We also welcomed alumni back this year for our second Alumni Luncheon event.

This year's opening ceremony was extra special. We were proud to announce that our volunteer staff led a fundraising campaign that raised $26,477! 100% (75) of our volunteer staff exceeded or met their $200 goal, and we could not be more grateful to them and the many wonderful donors that helped us get to this point! With this money, we'll get a 2:1 match from the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations! Our fundraising efforts will continue with our 2:1 match until December 15.

The week was definitely busy, but in the best way. We had four wonderful general session speakers to start off our mornings: De'Marco Fomby, who spoke about our ability to influence; Julie Kelly, who spoke about how situations do not need to define you; Fabian Ramirez, who touched on the effects of bullying; and Eddie Slowiskowski, who used the art of dance and music to discuss life and success. Their energy and enthusiasm helped us wake up and prepare for the day!

On Monday and Wednesday, we had our TRAX (Teens Reaching and Achieving Excellence) Workshops. Each day featured multiple workshops for our middle school and high school participants that ranged from starting an Operation Snowball Chapter (prevention group in your school) to depression and stress relief to fostering leadership skills to suicide and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention, and college and career readiness. Participants are able to select workshops they would like to attend based on what skills they'd like to expand on or areas they'd like to learn more about.

On Tuesday we had our Round Robin sessions. Kevin Wanzer spoke about finding the funny in life in one of our sessions and a trivia gameshow about our program as well as pop culture was led in the other. What a great energy boost!

Each day our participants were able to meet with their discussion groups and Community Action Teams (CAT). In discussion groups, they were able to process the day's events, work on team building activities and bond with others from outside of their communities. Our CATs met to identify and focus on local issues and create action plans for their own specific communities.

We also had some special events each day! On Monday night, our discussion groups participated in a scavenger hunt based on our color theme. They were asked to find locations, discuss fun questions with their groups and participate in team building activities. On Tuesday, we had our Tuesday Night Live talent show led by our Activity Coordinators. All of our participants did a wonderful job taking the stage and sharing their talents with us! On Wednesday, we had our celebration. DJ Ritchie C led a dance in the main ballroom with board games set up in the other. Participants were also able to play games, bowl and swim, visit the CGTI store and relax during free time hours each day.

Each year we're are so amazed by what our staff and participants are able to accomplish at camp both in their groups and out. The plans created, the lessons learned, the bonds made and the fun had inspire us to make sure that our Mid-Year and our next camp are even BETTER and to continue finding ways to positively affect the communities and people around us! We can't thank everyone who participated and led this year for what wonderful memories they've left us with, what opportunities they've created and what changes they have already begun to make!

We can't wait to see all the positive change our participants make in their school and/or community over the next school year. We had such a great 2017 and we're looking forward to seeing everyone at our Mid-Year event January 13-14 to hear what's been accomplished since then!

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