Contributed photo

Contributed photo

San Juan Island Prevention Coalition youth attend state summit

  • Fri Dec 8th, 2017 10:37am
  • Life

By Debbi Fincher

San Juan Island Prevention Coalition

The San Juan Island Prevention Coalition’s youth prevention club presented at a state-wide prevention summit.

“It was a good feeling helping others by sharing our experiences in prevention projects,” said participant Luke Fincher. “These teens, they said they really admired the work we did for our community and wanted to know how they could do something like this for their community. It kind of made my day.”

The Washington State Prevention Summit in Yakima draws over 400 youth. Rock Solid, a local youth prevention club, was created by Zach Fincher on the car ride home after attending his first Summit in 2011. In May 2017, Rock Solid won the grand prize for their community project at the Spring Youth Forum. Rock Solid was asked to present at this year’s summit.

“It was really great seeing how our project impacted and inspired other groups,” said Chiara Power of Rock Solid. “One small group of girls came up after one of our presentations, asking if we had any tips to ‘get to where we are.’ It really opened my eyes to see we have gotten to a goal so many strive for. For that, I am grateful for this opportunity to learn from others and teach others, including myself.”

The San Juan Island Prevention Coalition supports youth leadership training opportunities for local teens, by asking them to give back to their community with their new skills.

“As a presenter this year, I get to pay it forward to the next group of teens at the summit, all wide-eyed and eager to help bring back positive change for their schools and communities,” said Zach Fincher of Rock Solid. “I have been inspired to help others because of my involvement in community prevention projects that took shape at this Summit. I’m grateful to the SJIPC for supporting our efforts.”

Member Jaida Cruz agreed.

“I wish to strive with positive and inspirational thoughts that will not only help me, but help others that surround me, and around the world to help them with whatever they are going through,” said Cruz. “I want to let them know they are not alone and maybe if more people spoke more of positive, inspirational thoughts and ideas, maybe it could help our communities be stronger.”

Members of the group, Helping Out Teens Society at the Friday Harbor Middle School also made the trek to Yakima.

“I found our Emcee, Jordan Chaney, to be very inspirational,” said HOTS participant Robin Taylor. “I enjoyed the various workshops, but what I most enjoyed was meeting new people. A shoutout to our Lopezian Coalition friends we met at the Summit and enjoyed a friendly game of Uno with on the ferry ride home.”

For more information, visit sjipc.org.