Rock Solid youths work to better the Friday Harbor community

  • Wed Nov 20th, 2019 9:20pm
  • Life

Rock Solid, San Juan Island Prevention Coalition’s youth team, has been proactive in the last few years, providing helpful information to students and winning state awards.

The group was awarded top honors at the Washington State Prevention Summit earlier this month in Yakima. Rock Solid has attended the summit every year since 2011 and returned home to complete a meaningful prevention project in our community. This award recognized their efforts.

The group would like to share its award with the community, noting that the work it does cannot be done alone and that collaboration is key.

Rock Solid is sustainable, according to organizers, because the older members mentor the younger students in our community so they can continue to build upon the prevention efforts of graduating students. For the past two Decembers, the group has implemented a suicide prevention awareness campaign in the Friday Harbor middle and high schools. This year, they hope to include Spring Street International School in their campaign, as there is a new Rock Solid member who attends the school.

As part of this year’s campaign, every middle and high school student at the Friday Harbor schools will receive a wallet-sized suicide prevention pamphlet, a list of local resources for teens to get support if they feel overwhelmed and a mini candy cane to send them off on their winter breaks. The positive feedback the Rock Solid youth get from their peers about this gesture keeps them wanting to reach out and support one another.

Rock Solid also spent eight months last school year working on its “Escape the Vape” campaign in the FHMS and FHHS. Rock Solid created and implemented a 10 week-long trivia contest to test their peers’ vaping knowledge, performed lung tests and more.

Rock Solid found it got the conversation started around lung health and vaping. The youths also collected data from their classmates in pre and post-campaign surveys so that they could measure the campaign’s impact. They found nearly 60 percent of their high school peers said they learned new information from “Escape the Vape.”

“We salute Rock Solid for their incredible effort to help their peers understand the risks associated with vaping,” the prevention coalition’s press release stated. “Congratulations, Rock Solid, on your well-deserved award!”

Working to prevent suicide

San Juan Island Prevention Coalition is proud to announce that its Rock Solid Youth Team and school photographer Mark Gardner printed valuable resources on the back of all middle and high school student IDs.

This year, on the back of nearly 475 students’ identifications is a list of essential resources. It is an idea in the making for a few years which finally became a reality with the help of community members.

SJIPC Board member Court Bell, a former principal, was supportive of the idea when approached with the suggestion and offered to help fund it. Gardner found a printing lab that was able to print both sides of the student IDs instead of just the usual one side. This alleviated the need to buy an expensive printer for the project and reduced the cost. Gardner also stepped up to cover the extra printing fees.

Rock Solid would like to extend thanks to Bell for his financial assistance and encouragement, and to Gardner for his time, dedication to this project and financial support to help achieve this goal.