The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) National Coalition Institute recently announced the
2016 GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Awards
to outstanding coalitions who use data-driven, comprehensive, and effective approaches to address local substance abuse issues. Award winners demonstrated how they achieved successful outcomes in their communities against youth alcohol abuse, marijuana usage, and prescription opiate misuse. Due to the Vernon Coalition’s best practices using assessments, logic models, and other data to measure community-level changes, they were named CADCA’s Got Outcomes! Coalition of Excellence Award for Intermediate Outcomes.
This achievement follows the announcement of the award of the Drug-Free Communities Support Grant for Years 6-10, which ensures that the Vernon Coalition members can continue to work towards preventing and reducing youth substance use in Vernon. The Vernon Coalition began in 2010, when it was created to intentionally focus on reducing alcohol and marijuana use among Vernon youth. In 2011, they applied for and received their first DFC funding. This renewed DFC funding supports Vernon up through September of 2021.
Furthermore, the Drug-Free Communities Mentoring Grant was also awarded for the Vernon Coalition to provide support and guidance to our neighbor, the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition. The primary goal of the Mentoring grant is to assist the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition in becoming eligible to apply for DFC funding of their own by the end of the two-year Mentoring grant. In addition, by working collaboratively, Warwick and Vernon are able to share resources and help get the message out in a comprehensive way.
The Vernon Coalition has been lucky enough to work with all 12 sectors and receive continued support from community members. With help from Vernon’s young people, one strategy that has greatly contributed to the Coalition’s success is the Vernon Coalitions Above the Influence (ATI) youth group. With monthly youth meetings and lunch & learns held in three of the school’s, students have the opportunity to work with the ATI toolkit and empower their peers to live above the influence. The Above the Influence youth group not only holds monthly meetings but also holds an Annual Town Hall Meeting, sticker shock events, summer camp opportunities, community presentations, public service announcements and other interactive youth events. This has been a great way to engage students and inspire them to take a stand against negative influences. The Vernon Coalition youth group will continue to grow and spread education and awareness throughout their community. Thank you to Vernon’ youth for being part of the solution!