Featured Stories

21st Birthday Program helps students celebrate safely

SSC building stock
The 21st Birthday Program is currently located in the Student Success Center. It will relocate to UREC in Fall 2021.

SUMMARY: The 21st Birthday Program provides educational resources on how to celebrate responsibly. The program allows students to meet with a facilitator to discuss their birthday plans and expectations.

By Grace Mathias (21), editorial assistant 

The University Health Center’s 21st Birthday Program offers resources and educational sessions to JMU students as they approach the legal drinking age.

For two weeks ahead of their 21st birthday, students can participate in the program, which consists of a brief conversation with a facilitator about topics centered around their birthday plans, protective strategies, risk navigation and expectations for their 21st birthday.

The program gives students the tools to have enjoyable, safe birthday celebrations.

21st birthday logo

“The 21st Birthday Program really did open my eyes regarding how I wanted to really enjoy my birthday and have fun, but also to do so in a safe manner,” said Madelynn Walker, an international affairs major.

After speaking with the facilitator, students receive a coupon book for use at local businesses. The current community partners are Capital Ale House, The Golden Pony, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Ruby's Arcade and Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn Company

Students will celebrate—but the university wants them to be empowered to do so responsibly.

We want to continually encourage JMU students to be safe and active members in their communities,” said Ty Greenough (’18), alcohol and other drugs graduate assistant with the UHC. “In partnering with local businesses for the coupon booklet, we encourage students to explore and support local businesses.”

The partnership is mutually beneficial. Students get valuable coupons, while the businesses do their part to contribute to public safety, plus gain increased exposure and traffic.

Students interested in participating in the 21st Birthday Program can stop by The Well (first floor of SSC between the Pharmacy and Lavender Lounge) on Tuesdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The program will relocate to UREC in Fall 2021.

Students interested in participating virtually can follow the link via email two weeks before their 21st birthday.

Other local businesses can become community partners if they’re interested in supporting the program by contacting Ty Greenough (greenota@jmu.edu).

Back to Top

Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Related Articles