Our Mission

Operation Snowball is an international youth program that empowers student leaders through prevention education, community advocacy, and leadership development to create a positive impact

The Creation of Snowball

Operation Snowball began in 1977 in Rockford, Illinois when participants of the Illinois Teenage Institute (ITI) (now the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute/CGTI) came back to their community and thought, “We could do ITI back home!” Thus, Operation Snowball was created.  The name originates from the idea that “If I have a positive impact on you, you can have a positive impact on someone else and the effect snowballs.”

By 1979, Operation Snowball, Inc. obtained it’s not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status to make the program stronger. 

Funded in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundation.

A Comprehensive Program Program

The program fosters a youth & adult partnership.

Has been implemented in schools and communities ranging from rural, suburban and urban...from small towns to major metropolitan areas...with the ability to adapt components to address local conditions.

Uses the powerful energy and influence of youth to create an atmosphere of positive peer support, recognizing youth as part of the solution.

Supports Social Emotional Learning as youth develop attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and cognitive skills that create healthy and competent adults.

Utilizes SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework in developing the infrastructure needed for a community-based, public health approach.

Team Membership

We are now offering FREE team and individual registrations. No longer do we have accreditation fees and individuals can sign up versus being affiliated with a team or group from your school.


Our Teams

Operation Snowball Teams are organized in schools and communities primarily in Illinois, but are also found in other states and internationally. 

View lists of our Teams:

OS Teams in the United States

Alumni & Friends

For most, Snowball was a life changing experience and people want to continue the connection. The Operation Snowball Alumni & Friends was developed to do just that.  You learned what it means to have the confidence to believe in yourself and continue to make healthy life choices, and impacting the next generation of Snowballers is legacy worth continuing.  Here’s how you can be involved!

2021 Board of Directors

Ryan Dickinson
Interim Chair

Mackenzie Freud

Mackenzie Freund 

Vice Chair

Ankit Patel

Interim Treasurer

Kelly Stadter

Laura Larson-Gibbons
Past Chair

Jake Levinson
District 1

Amari Brown
District 1

Tessa Konzal 

District 2

Cierra Johnson
District 2

Cheyanne Kreush
District 2

Dennis Trask 

District 3

Caleb Fabish
District 3

Teresa Rosa-Jackson
IABH Appointee

Holly Windhorst 

IABH Appointee

Katie Hyland

Cristal Amexquita 

Youth Advocate

Abby Manak
Youth Advocate

Sam Miles
Youth Advocate

Emma Murphy 

Youth Advocate

Carter Langston
Youth Advocate

Caroline Duffy 

Youth Advocate