Young People's Groups in Alcoholics Anonymous began appearing around 1945 in Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, and now they can be found all across North America. In 1958, a meeting of young AA's from across the U.S. and Canada started what is now the International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (ICYPAA), and it has met on an annual basis ever since. At the 1960 AA Convention, Bill W. noted that the age of new members was much lower than when he and Dr. Bob founded AA 25 years earlier. In a letter to ICYPAA dated June 15, 1969, Bill wrote "... in recent years I have found nothing for greater inspiration than the knowledge that A.A. of tomorrow will be safe, and certainly magnificent, in the keeping of you who are the younger generation of A.A. today."
ICYPAA was founded for the purpose of providing a setting for an annual celebration of sobriety among young people in AA. Since its inception, a growing group of people, who at first would not consider themselves as "young people," has become regular attendees. The number of young people suffering from alcoholism who turn to AA for help is growing, and ICYPAA helps to carry AA's message of recovery to alcoholics of all ages. This meeting provides an opportunity for young AA's from all over the world to come together and share their experience, strength, and hope as members of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA members who attend an ICYPAA return home better prepared to receive young people who come to AA looking for a better way of life.
ICYPAA provides visible evidence that large numbers of young people are achieving a lasting and comfortable sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. The three legacies of AA -- Recovery, Unity, and Service -- are the backbone of ICYPAA, just as they are throughout AA. ICYPAA has a long history as an established AA conference. It regularly contributes to the AA General Service Office, as well as to the Area Service Structure in the local areas where it is held. ICYPAA and its attendees are also committed to reaching out to the newcomer, and to involvement in every other facet of AA service. ICYPAA participants can often be found serving at the national, state, area, and group levels. Newcomers are shown, by people their own age, that using AA principles in their daily lives and getting involved in AA service can have a significant impact on a lasting and comfortable sobriety.
Is ICYPAA A.A.?
"Yes, ICYPAA is a part of A.A., as are young people in A.A. committees at the state and regional levels, as long as the events they organize are run by A.A. members, for A.A. members, and there is no other affiliation. ICYPAA is listed in our confidential A.A. directories under 'Special International Contacts.'"
Reprinted from Box 4-5-9 (Vol. 54, No.1/February/March 2008, pg. 9) with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
"From time to time the General Service Office is asked if ICYPAA and young people’s groups are “part of A.A.” The answer is definitely yes. ICYPAA and its attendees are committed to reaching out to newcomers–no alcoholic is ever turned away, regardless of age–and to involvement in all facets of A.A. service. In most local A.A. meeting directories, young people’s meetings are listed along with others, though in some areas asterisks may identify them as YPGs. Members of these groups often can be found serving at the national, state, area and group levels. ICYPAA conventions and conferences are vital A.A. activities and as such are listed in the Box 459 'Calendar of Events.'"
Reprinted from Box 4-5-9 (Vol. 51, No.2/April/May 2005, pg. 7) with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Read Bill's Letter to ICYPAA
Bill’s Letter Addressing Hippies & Young People
Box 459 Discussing ICYPAA in 1986
BOX 459 Discussing ICYPAA IN 2005