Liz Wilhelm to coordinate drug free grant program
December 10, 2013
Liz Wilhelm has been selected as the project coordinator for the federal Drug Free Community grant awarded to the Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition and the city of Issaquah in September.
The grant, which will bring $125,000 per year for up to 10 years to the Issaquah School District service area, is aimed at reducing teen alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse. Hiring a local project coordinator to oversee a coalition work plan and funding expenditures is a requirement of the grant.
Wilhelm, an instructor at the University of Washington and Seattle Central Community College, has an extensive background in substance abuse prevention. Previously, she served as project coordinator for a Drug Free Community grant in Kitsap County. She authored Seattle Central’s prevention curriculum.
She is a past president and current board member of the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, and a former board co-chairwoman of the King County Community Organizing Program. She has professional and personal ties to the greater Issaquah area.
“We are so excited to have someone of Liz’s caliber joining our team,” Katie Moeller, chairwoman of the Drug Free Community Coalition, said in a news release. “We think Liz is a good match for our community, and will bring a highly professional level of expertise to our planning and outreach processes.”
The Drug Free Community Coalition was initiated in 2011 as a standing subcommittee of the Issaquah Community Network. The coalition is composed of 12 sector representatives, including youths, parents, schools, business, media, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, the medical profession, law enforcement, organizations serving youths, and local and government agencies involved in reducing drug abuse.
Currently, the coalition has about 40 members representing all geographical areas of the Issaquah School District. In recent months, the coalition supported a King County Board of Health proposal to implement a countywide prescription drug take-back program, mobilized community support for relocation of the Issaquah Skate Park (a frequent site for drug activity), and sponsored a forum about the impacts of marijuana legalization on teens.
“I believe strongly that the community coalition process brings lasting, beneficial change. The Drug Free Community Coalition is an energetic, inviting group committed to generating healthier neighborhoods for the families living, working and visiting in the Issaquah School District,” Wilhelm said. “I am thrilled to be an active part of this momentum and to lend whatever expertise I can.”