Turn Twenty-One for Youth to Youth

Hello Internet,

My name is Ryan Levenson. Today is my 21st birthday. As everyone knows, your 21st birthday is, in many ways, the most monumental birthday in a young adults life: The day you cross into legal drinking age. Despite this, a lot of kids my age choose to drink or use drugs.
Long ago, I made the decision to wait until I was 21 to have alcohol. Don't get me wrong, I still went to parties, still had an immeasurable amount of fun, and believe it or not, still had a lot of friends. Friends that not only supported, but made possible my abstinence from alcohol. I have had an awesome young adulthood: consuming alcohol simply has not been a part of my experience.
At a young age, my decision was discussed openly amongst my family. That openness allowed conversation to eventually lead to the wager. When I was 14, I made a bet with my parents. The terms of the bet stated that as long as I continued to abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol before turning 21, I would win $2000. However, if I could not, I would then owe my parents $1000. As of today I can finally say: I have won. And now, with the help of my friends and family, I can give back what has been given to me.

This is a project that has been built almost entirely in secret from friends and family. I call it the Turn Twenty One project. With the help of my friends, I will be taking the winnings incurred from this bet, and allowing my friends to shape the fate of any given day, that is, with the allocation of one fifth of the $2000 I won. Each of those five days, I will give each respective friend $400 to create the best possible day for them, myself, and the people around us. Each day free of drugs and alcohol. This project aims to shine light on the strength of support, the importance of friends and family, and the option of a drug and alcohol free youth. With that awareness, we hope to inspire youth, and the parents of those youth to support a drug & alcohol-free adolescence. To find us, and see what becomes of these five days, visit us at TurnTwentyOne.com.
While we will be having fun with these five days, this website is not just a place to showcase the ridiculousness of our experiences. With this project, I wanted to do something bigger, something to influence change and make a lasting difference. Throughout this project, we will be hosting a gofundme.com campaign, set up to fundraise $25000 for Youth to Youth, an International drug and alcohol prevention program for underage youths. Youth to Youth was incredibly instrumental in my abstinence from drugs and alcohol by promoting healthy environments and behavior that kept me away from drug and alcohol use. Everyday, they do the same for thousands of kids.
So if you will please, go to TurntwentyOne.com, check out my friends choices and the experiences we have, share this project with your friends and family, subscribe to our YouTube channel TurnTwentyOne, and feel free to make a donation to Youth to Youth directly as well. We all need support, and we all need a network. I was lucky enough to have that around me, but not everybody is. It is because of those people I was able to make it to this day. Now, let us help you turn Twenty-One. Follow #TurnTwentyOne Visit us at TurnTwentyOne.com, and have a wonderful day.


Ryan Levenson
San Ramon, CA
Registered nonprofit
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