Committing to Excellence
On Tuesday, March 3rd the Navy Seals, Anthony Page and Jason Larson, partnered with the American Athletic Institute, LC Unite for Youth Coalition to present a workshop for selected High School athletes and coaches in Lincoln County. They had an evening presentation for students and all community members after the daylong workshops in Libby and Eureka. Eureka's was Tuesday, March 3 from 5:30 – 7:00 in the Lincoln County High School Gym.
The athletically inspired workshops are designed to encourage youth to make healthy livestyle choices and to take leadership roles, giving them tools they can use to do so. The evening presentations will address the responsibilities of both youth and adults in creating a healthy society. It will give reason and encouragement to all who attend 1) to expect great things from our kids and 2) that caring adults need to have positive interactions with them while providing them with positive role models. Our youth will feel more confident making safe and healthy choices regarding underage drinking and drug use, including abuse of prescription drugs, when there is a team of caring adults supporting their decisions and providing avenues for them to commit to excellence on and off the field.
This, the second activity organized by Lincoln County Unite for Youth, focuses on athletics. LC Unite for Youth is also working with community organizations and leaders to develop programs that will attract students who have interests in other areas. When adults and youth work together to develop interests in the arts and humanities as well as physical fitness the result is well-balanced individuals and communities. Watch for future events and be involved!
What is the Lincoln County Unite for Youth Coalition?
Mission: Reducing youth substance abuse through collective community prevention.
Vision: We envision a community that empowers our youth to become productive, contributing members of society by:
- Promoting healthy lifestyle choices
- Preventing Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency
- Supporting youth and families
Lincoln County Unite for Youth Coalition was formed in 2008 as part of the Montana Community Change Project and in response to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action. At that time, nearly half of our high school seniors reported binge drinking in a two-week period – a rate higher than any of their peers across the state.
As a coalition, Unite for Youth has worked hard to engage the very difficult questions dealing with how we as a community – our beliefs, our attitudes and our actions – including long standing community norms, contribute to or support the problems we face as a result of youth substance abuse in Lincoln County. What we have found is not always easy, but we have learned that by keeping the health and safety of our community at the center of this conversation, we can arrive at consensus and through collaborative prevention efforts, begin to implement strategies shown to reduce youth substance use.
We are making progress; Lincoln County is no longer first in the state for underage binge drinking. But there is much more to do; continued attention to these matters is extremely important. Our community continues to face above average rates of underage alcohol use – especially among younger students – and according to a 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, rates of prescription drug abuse have increased dramatically.
Together, with input and support from community members, positive sustainable community change in Lincoln County is possible. Speaking to all adults: Your voice is vital to reinforcing our shared vision of a strong and healthy community, and your participation will help direct the implementation of proven strategies that will have a positive impact on the health, wellness and safety of our community’s youth. Be a part of the process!