Taking Charge of the Year

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By: Lindsey Ungs, Certified Prevention Specialist

The Area Substance Abuse Council’s annual Take Charge conference was held this year on September 29th at the Kirkwood Training and Outreach Center.  ASAC Prevention Staff from Linn, Benton, and Jones County took the day to train over 130 high school students from Linn, Benton, and Jones Counties.  The students discussed topics such as marijuana, prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. ASAC staff also offered trainings on different areas of the strategic prevention framework (assessing, capacity building, planning, and evaluating).

One of the highlights of the day was getting a chance to help the students plan their vision for their advocacy work in their community in the upcoming year. This included Prevention Staff meeting with groups and discussing what they hoped to accomplish in making changes in their community.  One Benton County school group said they hoped to lower the incidence rate of Good Conduct Policy Violations at their school. They stated that there have been several incidents so far this school year and when that happens, the entire student body is left to deal with the consequences.  These students are planning to do several activities this year to draw attention to the good conduct policy and the positives of following these rules. Some of the plans they made involve a red ribbon week campaign, posting messages around the school related to the conduct policy, and collecting statistics from the administration. Way to go students!

When asked for feedback on the conference, one student stated, “It really shows us as youth how involved and committed you all are to working and cooperating with us and inspiring us.”

The Linn, Benton, and Jones Prevention Staff would like to thank all the advisors and students for spending the day with us. We look forward to working with each of you this year.