Wednesday, July 29th, The Sanctuary received a visit from the Troy Drug Free Community Coalition. Davia Collington outlined for us the background of the TDFCC, their mission, and challenged us to come up with positive stories of youth in our community.
The TDFCC was started in 2010 by Davia and other concerned residents after corner stores started selling synthetic marijuana and so the TDFCC was formed to provide education and encourage youth to stay clean from drugs. Davia notes that they applied for funding 5 times before receiving a federal grant. Now that the coalition is up and active, it is their mission not only to come up with environmental strategies, but provide the community with actual statistics outlining the drug use that is currently happening in the area.
And the statistics might surprise you…
Only 18.2 % of students ( of grades 6,8,10, and 12) reported drinking in the past 30 days in 2014. The percentages in 2012 was 22.9%.
Of the students surveyed, 12.3% reported binge drinking within 2 weeks of taking the questionnaire, that number down from 14.2% in 2012. 19.8% of students surveyed had been suspended from school within the last year in 2014 and 3.6% reported carry a handgun, with 0.8% reported carry a handgun to school.
Since it’s inception, the Troy Drug Free Community Coalition has funded more than 2000 community programs. Davia said that it is important to connect with the youth and help them highlight things that the kids love to do instead of drugs. The shift of focus creates a higher perspective, giving kids options outside of drugs, encouraging passions. Students in the Uptown Summer program listed their passions which included sports, modeling, music, reading, writing, and creating art.
Stay tuned for the PSA that the students will begin making next week which will feature positive youth stories. The hope is to combat the negative image that the media creates because clearly not all youth in Troy is abusing substances.
The Modern Scribe,
for The Sanctuary for Independent Media.