From the Directors’ Den:
As I write to update you on Justin’s House, a new nonprofit that will support our Silicon Valley youth with alcohol abuse and dependence issues, I am reminded of the opportunities to effect change that lie before us. Many of us have either been adversely affected directly by alcohol or we know someone who has been. In fact, 17.6 million, or 1 in every 12 adults in our country suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. However, perhaps what you didn’t know is this:
- Alcohol is the #1 drug of choice for teens in our country.
- Three million teens in the U. S. are alcoholics.
- The average boy takes his first drink at age 11. The average girl at 13.
The opportunities to effect change abound. The JH Board has been busy putting in place the needed infrastructure to start directly serving struggling kids and we are eager to share our progress with you. Read below to hear about our status and how a place like Justin’s House could have made a world of difference in one teen’s life.. Please share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Why Justin’s House Exists – A Story
Adrianna doesn’t remember exactly when she began to do poorly in school however, she does remember that right around 5th grade she became an angry kid with behavioral issues. Her father is an alcoholic and that reality began to affect her life at home. Her parents fought a lot and ultimately divorced. She remembers often feeling lost and
At the end of her 8th grade year Adrianna had her first beer. She was at a friend’s house and they thought it would be fun to try the ones belonging to her friend’s parents that were in the refrigerator. They didn’t finish those beers- didn’t like the taste all that much.
When Adrianna started high school she was 13 years old. All her friends had started smoking cigarettes and hanging out with the “cool”, older kids that smoked at school, so she followed along. “I was just this geeky girl trying to keep up.”, she remembers. Before the end of her first semester that year she was kicked out of school and moved to an alternative school. For the first time she was exposed to kids getting drunk at school.
To ensure the ability of Justin’s House to accomplish its mission, this quarter our work will focus on:
- Location of a Space: Before we can begin the Recruitment and Implementation Phase of our strategic plan our focus remains on securing that safe place for kids to go for support, guidance and connection. We are in need of a permanent space from which we can operate and it is our sincere hope that you will join us in our efforts to find and/or fund a location for this very exciting and vital program. Send us your thoughts…we would love to hear from you!
- Development of a Risk Management Program: We have been busy working on establishing policies and outlining procedures to protect the kids we serve, our staff members (board members, volunteers and eventually, paid employees), our program activities, and our site. Our next step will be to find a local law firm to review all the forms and ensure we have the correct procedures in place and have done our due diligence to make this a positive experience for all involved.
- Join the Justin’s House Board as our treasurer. We wish a fond farewell to Pat Flot who helped launch Justin’s House as our dedicated treasurer. Although Pat can never be replaced in our hearts, we do need another treasurer on the Board and would welcome someone who is dedicated to our cause, able to commit to monthly meetings, and able to keep up the Justin’s House financial matters. Please contact Kelly Villarreal email@example.com if you are interested.