The 2022 Color Run was a tremendous success! There were more people participating in this year’s event than in the Run’s history. A total of 265 people participated in the event in diverse ways. We would like to thank all who participated it was a success because of you. For example, our Master of Ceremonies (MC) directed the Color Run in the right direction. Jovon Vaughn this year’s MC did a fabulous job making everyone feel at ease and important. He also educated everyone present about the mission of Teen Advocacy Coalition (TAC). Miriam Hernandez donated a balloon arch to signal the finish line but not the end of color, smiles, and togetherness. Thanks to our sponsors that made this event happen! We need the support of the community to help teens experience that communities still rally together for a common cause.
Photo credit: Willapa Harbor Drone
SOUTH BEND, WA – Approximately 150 runners and walkers turned out for the 3rd Annual 5K Color Fun Run/Walk last Saturday in South Bend. The event was themed “Happy Days Are Here Again” and was co-sponsored by Teen Advocacy Coalition and Willapa Harbor Health Foundation. All participants received a t-shirt along with other swag thanks to the following sponsors: Willapa Harbor Hospital (sunglass sponsor); Pacific County Guns & Hoses (gaiter sponsor); and Willapa Behavioral Health (swag bag sponsor).
Participants took off from the starting line near South Bend High School’s Koplitz Field House at 8 a.m. and proceeded along the route through town and back. Modeled after the Sources of Strength program, eight color stations were set up along the route, each with a designated strength and color. Color station sponsors included: Pacific County Voices Uniting (spirituality – purple); True North (mentors – green); Barnhart Home Cleaning (physical health – teal); Crisis Support Network (positive friends – yellow); First Interstate Bank (family support – orange); Willapa Behavioral Health (mental health – red); HAVA (generosity – pink); and Basics NW (healthy activities – blue).
Putting on the event was no small feat. This event couldn’t have been as successful without the many volunteers who spent months planning and preparing as well as those who volunteered at the event. Thank you all for your time and hard work! We also owe a special thank you to Willapa Harbor Drone for capturing all the colorful moments.
Be sure to mark your calendar and save the date for the next color run – Saturday, September 3, 2022. For more information about the Sources of Strength program, please visit sourcesofstrength.org. For more information about Teen Advocacy Coalition, please visit pacificcountytac.org or contact Denise Rowlett at email@example.com or 360-984-4199.
A December to Remember Holiday Party
On December 10th, the Teen Advocacy Coalition (TAC) hosted A December to Remember Holiday Party. There were a variety of festivities including games, coloring sheets, cookie decorating, gingerbread houses, wooden spoon craft, string art ornaments, and a photo booth. There was also an appearance from Santa! Dinner was provided including a nacho bar, dessert, and hot cocoa bar. Over 200 community members of all ages attended the Holiday Party, which far surpassed the expected 100 attendees.
The event doubled as a Communities Talk: Town Hall Meeting to Prevent Underage Drinking and kicked off the holiday season in North Pacific County. Pacific County Healthy Youth Survey data was on hand and event volunteers at the various activities engaged in prevention discussions with attendees.
TAC would like to thank all the volunteers and a special thank you to Santa and Willapa Harbor Drone. From all of us at TAC, warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and happy new year!
If you attended the Holiday Party, we would love to hear from you! Please click here to complete the feedback survey. Your input is valued and will help to improve our events in the future.
Photos by Willapa Harbor Drone. Additional photos are available on Facebook.
1st Annual 5K SOS Color Run
The Teen Advocacy Coalition and Willapa Harbor Health Foundation co-hosted the 1st Annual 5K Sources of Strength Color Run/Walk on Saturday, August 31st as part of the Come and Play on Labor Day festivities. The event was organized to promote healthy and happy living in local youth as well as provide a family-friendly activity for the community. The run/walk was free for youth 18 and under and had over 100 participants in its first year.
During the 5K run/walk, participants passed through several color stations, where they were dusted with dyed cornstarch. The various colors represent the eight strengths from the Sources of Strength wheel: family support, positive friends, spirituality, healthy activities, medical access, mentors, mental health, and generosity. The eight strengths are factors that research has shown are protective against suicide risk.
After finishing the 5K, participants were welcomed with a complimentary pancake breakfast, snacks, and beverages by the Raymond PTO. The event was a huge success and we are excited to offer this again in 2020!
Video by Willapa Harbor Drone
Tobacco and e-vape prevention is very important, but it can be hard to help yourself quit on your own, or to help others if you don't know where to turn to for information. These community resource lists are meant to provide information on quit lines, school-based resources in North Pacific County, and online resources that are available for those who wish to quit, want to help others quit, or who want to become more informed on the dangers and laws regarding tobacco and e-vape usage.
With the help of South Bend and Raymond Peer Helpers, and some information from the Health Department, TAC put together a list of tips that one could use to help them quit using tobacco products.
Tips to Help You Quit
When you get the urge to smoke or chew tobacco:
TAC also put together a list of resources that are available in Pacific County as well as in Washington State.
Pacific County Tobacco/E-vape Resources
And Washington State Laws
Michele M. Buzzelli, MPH is North Pacific County’s new Teen Advocacy Coalition (TAC) Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Ithaca College, and a Master’s in Public Health and Certificate in Health Equity from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Specializing in adolescent and young adult community health, Michele is thrilled to join the TAC team!
An avid adventurer, Michele spent January – April 2016 solo traveling Australia and New Zealand. She is a certified 200-hour Purna Yoga instructor through the Byron Yoga Centre in Byron Bay, NSW, Australia. She teaches Friday evening classes at the Just Be Center for Yoga and Wellness in South Bend (in the DSHS building). Michele’s interests also include meditation, being involved with the arts, reading, and spending time with her dog.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Michele has spent the majority of her life on the east coast. She is excited to call Pacific County her new home.
Hi my name is Allie Thompson, I’m nineteen years old and from Franklin Kentucky, I work with TAC through Americorp as of now. I graduated high school in 2015 and went on to do a year of university at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond Kentucky. Between graduating and starting college I came to Washington to work at a Girl scout camp in Allyn. This past summer I went to Maryland to do the same thing. Girl scouts have played a huge part in my life and the direction I’d like to continue on in the future. I’m a life time member of Girl scouts of Kentuckiana and served on the junior counsel, I also did counselor training for three years and during that time I learned a lot about service and how to better serve any community that I’d find myself in. In the future, after four years doing Americorps, I’d like to join Peace Corps for the full five years and then move onto to continuous service for the rest of my working life.
Well, all, it's with mixed emotions that I write this, my last TAC AmeriCorps report. My service term is up on July 15th, and I will soon be headed back to Wisconsin and graduate school. Here's what I've been up to lately:
TAll Cop Says Stop
Back on June 15th, I had the opportunity to attend a training called High in Plain Sight. Sponsored by ESD 113/True North, Officer Jermaine Galloway talked about current trends in drug and alcohol logos, clothing, hats, etc., drug concealment methods and containers, drug paraphernalia (especially around marijuana concentrates and dabbing), synthetic and OTC drugs, and how technology is being used by youth around drugs. It was an incredibly informative training! I attended the training in Hoquiam, but the same training was offered in Naselle the next day as well. If you want more information about Jermaine Galloway and/or what he talks about, check out his website here: http://www.tallcopsaysstop.com/
Peer Helper Surveys- Results
I finished administering the Peer Helper Surveys to all North County 6th-11th grade students and compiled the results. The top five issues teens are facing as identified by the students are:
1. Gossip (337 students)
2. School-related Stress (323)
3. Bullying (305)
4. Drug and Alcohol Use (213)
5. Family Conflict (208)
We use these results to steer our Peer Helper Retreat, making sure we helping our teens address the issues they feel are most important for their peers.
A requirement of the AmeriCorps team, I have been putting together a "Sustainability Binder" for the next TAC/WCN AmeriCorps member who will start in September. It's been a lot of fun becuase I've been mentally revisiting all the work I've had the opportunity to do for TAC over the last ten and a half months- it's been a blast! Included in the binder will be: important contacts, descriptions of all my projects for TAC and WCN, login and other logistics-type information, and hopefully any other information someone will need to step into this role and hit the ground running.
So long, and thanks for all the fish
All the best, and with much love,
AmeriCorps Report: May
Here's what I worked on in May...
TAC AFter Prom Party 2016
The 2016 TAC After Prom Party was a blast! Students played ping-pong and glow-in-the-dark capture the flag and participated in a pancake decorating contest, photo booth, and lip sync battle to earn raffle tickets for amazing prizes like Beats headphones, a Chromebook, Bluetooth speakers, gas cards, and so much more. We had breakfast food, including pancakes, fruit, cinnamon rolls, a hot cocoa bar, and the most bacon I've seen in my entire life! The goal of the After Prom Party is to provide a positive alternative to partying, which often includes drug and alcohol use for teens. While our attendance was lower than we were hoping this year, we know that it's important to continue providing fun, positive alternatives for our teens. Two After Prom Party attendees self-reported that, had they not been with us, they would have been using alcohol and/or drugs. If we prevented even one teen from making choices that had the potential for lasting negative consequences, I believe we succeeded. Thank you to South Bend schools for their hospitality and all our volunteers for making the After Prom Party happen!
Peer Helper Surveys
Peer Helper Surveys are critical to our Peer Helper program. Each spring, we administer surveys to high school students from South Bend, Willapa Valley, and Raymond. We ask students what issues they see their peers dealing with (anything from family stress to self-harm to sexual identity, etc.) and what issues they think are most relevant for folks their age. We then ask them to identify peers that they feel they can turn to for help or support. Students who are mentioned the most are then asked to attend the Peer Helper Retreat in the fall. Here at TAC, we are very excited because we eked out some additional funding and will be able to send more students from each school to the retreat in 2016. We will now be inviting some Junior High students ("Junior Peer Helpers") to the retreat. This is in response to input from our current Peer Helpers who suggest that most issues we talk about really start in Junior High and we need to be addressing them there as well as with their High School peers. We will be holding our first planning meeting for the 2016 Peer Helper Retreat soon.
...and, apart from attending a bunch of meetings (and the week I spent back in Wisconsin visiting family), that's about it. May sure did fly by!
AmeriCorps Report: April
Better late than never, right? Here's what happened in April:
Raymond Sources of Strength Week
The week of April 11th-15th was Sources of Strength Week at Raymond High School. SOS is an upstream model for youth suicide prevention that strengthens multiple sources of support (protective factors) around young individuals so that when times get hard they have strengths to rely on. The eight main categories of strengths include: Mental Health, Spirituality, Medical Access, Generosity, Family Support, Healthy Activities, Positive Friends, and Mentors. Our Peer Helpers sponsored lunch time activities for their peers all week, encouraging students to share what strengths they feel strongest in and what healthy supports they have when they face challenge. They also created "Thank You" postcards for teachers and staff and encouraged their peers to thank family, friends, and mentors in their own lives. TAC also sponsored a student assembly on Tuesday and brought in Taproot Theater out of Seattle who performed "Relationship Status: A Cyberbullying Prevention Play". Overall, the week had great student participation and engagement. It was exciting week full of positive energy!
Science Of Hope Conference
On April 19th and 20th, I had the pleasure of attending the Science of Hope Conference sponsored by HealthyGen. It's a conference based around the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study and NEAR (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs, and Resilience) Science, with scientists and community leaders speaking on topics from health equity to healing trauma through narrative, to motivational interviewing, to measuring hope, etc. etc. I learned so much from keynote speakers and the workshops I attended about how ACEs impact everyone on neurobiologcial, psychological, social, and cultural levels and what everyone can do to promote health and hope. During her concluding remarks, Melanie Gillespie, Executive Director of HealthyGen, called on us all to go back to our organizations and communities and "kick ass and share hope". I certainly feel inspired to do just that.
TAC After Prom Party 2016
Much of my time in April was spent preparing for the TAC After Prom Party on May 7th. But you'll have to stay tuned to read about that in my May AmeriCorps report....