Two Issaquah powerhouses become one as schools foundation and community network merge

June 9, 2014

NEW — 5:45 p.m. June 9, 2014

Two leading youth advocate organizations — the Issaquah Schools Foundation and Issaquah Community Network — are joining forces to better serve students of the Issaquah School District.

The two groups will formally merge Sept. 1 with the Issaquah Schools Foundation providing funding for the new initiative.

“We are excited by the possibilities the merger offers,” foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan said in a news release. “The foundation’s goal is to help all students achieve the promise of their potential. The community network addresses the underlying issues that keep our children from reaching their potential. It’s a strategically aligned pairing.”

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Liberty student wins ‘Influence the Choice’ video contest

April 16, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. April 16, 2014

Liberty High School junior Ashton Herrild took home the top prize in the Drug Free Community Coalition’s 2014 “Influence the Choice” student video contest.

Herrild’s two-minute video encouraged peers to “live for the nights you’ll never forget,” rather than “the nights you won’t remember,” and live a drug-free life. His overall win came with a prize of $800.

More than 100 Issaquah School District students worked to submit 54 videos encouraging their peers to say no to prescription drugs, alcohol and marijuana. The students spent an estimated 400 hours crafting the videos.

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Advisory board tackles youth substance abuse

March 25, 2014

Although drug abuse is a widely discussed topic, few dig deeper into the underlying causes, the reasons why youths would start risking their health by using dangerous substances.

Today’s generation of teenagers are faced with unprecedented challenges on a daily basis: family conflicts, rigorous schoolwork, bullying, peer pressure and sky-high parental expectations, just to name a few.

Not knowing how to deal with and manage the stress and emotions that result from these issues often leave teenagers in a dangerous predicament.

Erika Kumar Skyline High School

Erika Kumar
Skyline High School

Viewing drugs or alcohol as the only way to cope with their distress, many young people practice this harmful behavior and put their lives at risk. Easy access to illegal substances and a lack of understanding of the effects drugs have on their developing bodies further push teens toward substance abuse.

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Teen filmmakers are wanted for Influence the Choice video contest

January 4, 2014

NEW — 3:50 p.m. Jan. 4, 2013

Back by popular demand, the Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition is again sponsoring its “Influence the Choice” video contest.

Issaquah School District students in sixth through 12th grades are invited to create video commercials (up to two minutes) that positively influence their friends to resist alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug temptations.

The deadline for submission is Feb. 28.

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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.

Contributed Liz Wilhelm (right), new project coordinator for the federal grant awarded to the Drug Free Community Coalition in Issaquah, stands with coalition Chairwoman Katie Moeller.

Contributed
Liz Wilhelm (right), new project coordinator for the federal grant awarded to the Drug Free Community Coalition in Issaquah, stands with coalition Chairwoman Katie Moeller.

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.

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City receives drug control grant

September 10, 2013

NEW — 10:30 a.m. Sept. 10, 2013

The Office of National Drug Control Policy has announced the list of 2013 Drug Free Communities grant recipients and Issaquah is on it.

Drug Free Communities grants provide $125,000 per year for up to 10 years targeted at reducing teen drug and alcohol abuse.

“This grant will really enable us to make a positive difference in the greater Issaquah School District service area,” Vicki Hoffman, chairwoman of the Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition, said in a news release. “We are so excited for the community and for our kids.”

The Drug Free Community Coalition was formed in 2011 as a standing subcommittee of the Issaquah Community Network, a state-funded organization with a mission to support healthy youth and strong families.

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