— Submitted by SJI Prevention Coalition:
Empowering messages like "Dream Big," "Find your Destiny," "Be the Party and Stand Up, Stand Out, Choose Health" gave six San Juan Island teens a lot to think about and new skills to act upon these messages they heard in workshops, presentations and service projects in Yakima where the three-day Washington State Prevention Summit is held annually.
The San Juan Island Prevention Coalition sponsored these youth from Spring Street International School and Friday Harbor High School.
“These youth already work hard to make a difference in their schools through various clubs like ROCK SOLID and H.O.T.S. (Helping Out Teens Society) however, we have an opportunity to collaborate and bring them together to make a greater impact for our community” says Debbi Fincher, team advisor.
In addition, the prevention coalition invited Jason Davis of Island Rec and Meagan Gablem, the new prevention intervention specialist at Friday Harbor middle and high schools, to help chaperone the group and build a stronger support system for these teens.
"We’ve heard loud and clear that many youth want to get involved but they just need some support and guidance from the adults in their community," Fincher says.
As Teddy McCullough said, “We want to do the work, we just need your help to show us what resources are available and support us along the way”.
As some may know, Teddy is from Lopez Island Prevention Coalition and a junior at American University. He is an intern at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and was a presenter and Youth Co-Emcee this year at the Summit.
One of the team’s favorite presentations was Teddy’s workshop, where he spoke to the power of dreaming big and finding ways to navigate around obstacles, and to never give up.