Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 2009
Source: Southwest Booster, The (CN SN)
Copyright: Southwest Booster 2009
Bookmark: (Youth)


The Swift Current and District Task Force is gearing up for a series
of initiatives to continue tackling head on the problems of youth
drugs and alcohol problems in the city.

After forming in the spring in response to a growing youth drug and
alcohol problem, the Task Force has moved past their initial mandate
of drug awareness and alcohol awareness to students and parents.

Task Force members recently had an opportunity to re-focus their
efforts following a recent three-hour meeting with student
representatives. The youth were simply approached with what did they
want to see in a program.

"Universally, what came out is they are tired of being talked to,"
Task Force member Nelson Pompu said during a presentation to Swift
Current City Council on Tuesday. "We're going to be trying to focus
more towards that interface and having the students involved."

Pompu noted that the students wanted presentations to focus on
positive peer influences.

"Yes there are a number of habitual users. There's a number of
one-time users and people that are just on the fringe that are
occasional users. But we have a tremendous number of exceptional kids
in the city, and in the rural areas, and we can't forget to focus on
them as well, because they are the example for the others to try to
follow, and we have to encourage that," Pompu said.

Committee member Larry Kielo pointed out that on November 25 the
Comprehensive High School will be dedicating their homeroom activities
to focus on drug and alcohol awareness. Each grade will have a topic
specific presentation to provide a directed message to them.

The Task Force is also planning a January session with Serge LeClerc,
a well-renown speaker with a powerful life message.

Kielo added that the group is in this battle for the long

"We want to meet with council regularly and certainly update you and
let the community know that we're not going away. Our kids are too
valuable not to dedicate the time and the resources that we have to,
to focus on their challenges right now. And we do have a community
that is being challenged by drug and alcohol use. And, in the
partnership that we have in our community, we want to see our kids
become healthy kids and healthy adults." 
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