Why do you feel passionate about the youth in our communities?
Amanda: The opportunities that youth have in the area are plenty; the World is literally at their feet. For some youth who choose to “experiment” with alcohol, drugs and tobacco at a young age it can produce lifelong negative consequences. When that happens, their potential for success in the future greatly diminishes and for me it’s sad to see.
What does the Mille Lacs Area Partners for Prevention Coalition do?
Amanda: What I like most about the MAPP is that it brings many people of different backgrounds, careers, sectors together for a common goal. I have had the opportunity to work with people from Isle and Onamia that I never would have had the chance to work with and meet if we continued to “Silo” ourselves in the work we do. Within the coalition meetings we have been able to educate one another with issues and topics and have a different understanding than our own. Many times during the meetings I find myself saying “I’ve never thought of that” etc.. Furthermore the MAPP has been able to make a presence in the community and work within schools to educate parents and students on issues of underage alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.
Keeping in mind what you know so far, what has impressed you or intrigued you most about the grant and its strategies?
Amanda: The grant gives the coalition members the ability to receive further education in prevention ideas and practices. It does this by paying registration fees to attend trainings. The grant also gives us (MAPP) the power to determine how and what needs to be done in the area in which we work and live. We have been able to define our own mission, vision and by-laws. Doing that I believe gave each coalition member a sense of empowerment and ownership of MAPP.
How and why would you encourage other people in the communities to support the efforts of the Mille Lacs Area Partners for Prevention Coalition?
Amanda: Because the MAPP coalition needs to have 14 sectors represented it opens the doors for community members to be involved if they want to be. MAPP meets for about an hour once a month so that attending the meetings does not take up too much time of a person’s already busy schedule. The meetings are open so feel free to attend and have your voice heard.
The Mille Lacs Area Partners for Prevention Coalition is funded through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division. If you would like to find out more about the Coalition or perhaps become a member, please contact Shannon Frazier by calling Rum River Health Services at, 1-763-389-5080 ext. 145, or visit the website at www.mappcoalition.com.