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.
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.
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:
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