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News Release
KEY Connection Coalition
KEY Connection Coalition
White House Drug Policy Office Awards $625,000 to Local Coalition to Prevent Youth Substance Use (Photo) - 12/18/20

KENNEWICK, WA – The KEY Connection Kennewick Coalition is the recipient of one of 150 new Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grants to prevent substance use among youth. Awarded $125,000 per year for five years from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Coalition is partnering with Educational Service District (ESD) 123 to build upon the amazing work already taking place in the community.

The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the community level in local youth drug use prevention efforts. These grants help strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in youth substance use. Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, coalitions are able to engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies.

“In order to create safe and healthy places for the next generation, we must break through to our children now and educate them about the dangers of substance use,” states Kristi Sharpe, KEY Connection Community Coordinator.   “Our goal is to make the Kennewick community a safe and drug-free place for our youth.”

ESD 123 Student Support Director, Dana Camarena, says she is excited to increase prevention efforts within Kennewick and provide services to a larger audience.

“Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract drug use in our community and help youth make healthier choices,” Camarena states. “This will expand our current work with youth leadership opportunities, as well as education for parents, youth, and school staff regarding substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion.

Through current coalition work, Kennewick youth are trained to implement prevention strategies with their peers at school and throughout the community to keep substances out of the hands of youth. Grant funding will increase community-wide environmental strategies such as this, along with similar events, media, and policy work. The KEY Connection coalition is comprised of community volunteers. Those wishing to get involved are encouraged to join us on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 3:30 PM via Zoom. More information can be found on the KEY Connection Facebook page, or contact Dana Camarena at 509-544-5762 or ena@esd123.org">dcamarena@esd123.org.  

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Attached Media Files: KEY Connection Coalition