What's New in Prevention?
Annual Governor’s Celebration Provides Hope for Connecticut’s Youth
The annual Governor’s celebration for Connecticut’s youth, sponsored by The Partnership took place on November 30, 2017 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Corporate leaders and individuals committed to preventing substance abuse, underage drinking and violence among youth and promoting positive outcomes were inspired by the message of hope conveyed by program participants. After three decades in prevention, The Partnership is returning to its organizational roots, addressing major issues including bullying, lack of positive role models, chronic absenteeism and the opioid epidemic in the state.
Dawn Morris, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Webster Bank and co-chair of The Partnership’s Board of Directors for the past three years, spoke about the incredible teamwork that is creating hope for youth. “Webster invests in what matters the most,” she said. “We at Webster have made an investment in mentoring for the past 15 years. We are honored to be part of the success of The Partnership and its efforts."
Jill Spineti, President & CEO of The Partnership addressed the new reality of things changing in Connecticut. Finally, the pain of addiction and the grief it brings is no longer hidden as in the past. The Partnership is opening doors with early prevention programs, new innovations, additional resources and a new strategic plan working in collaboration with its community partners. Spineti expressed her appreciation for what she sees as a trend, individuals from companies are asking what more they can do to make a difference. There is a “swell of goodness and compassion.” She suggested that together we can all do more by connecting with youth, convening in the community and empowering others to play a role. She invited everyone to get involved and get engaged.
Three companies received special awards for their significant contributions to the prevention infrastructure this year, inspiring others:
- 2017 Partnership in Hope Media Award: Tribune Media Connecticut/Fox 61 for its Faces of Addiction campaign.
- 2017 Partner in Hope Leadership Award: United Health Foundation for its response to the rising rate of substance abuse among Latino youth in Hartford.
- 2017 Partners in Hope Impact Award: Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield for its three year AmeriCorps award to launch EdCorpsCT to tackle the effects of chronic absenteeism at the Simpson-Waverly School in Hartford.
Students Annie Khan, East Windsor High School and Felipe Sanches, Greenwich High School shared how The Partnership’s Youth Advisory Leadership Council on which they serve is changing their lives and giving them hope. “My voice matters,” Annie stated.
Joelle A. Murchison, University administrator and diversity champion delivered the keynote address. Passionate about the needs of young people, she spoke eloquently about how we must all encourage youth to reach their highest potential. It was a Call to Action for all gathered in the room and a clear message of hope for tomorrow.
Jaquan Forde, AmeriCorps Member, EdCorps CT who works to improve the lives of youth every day on site at Simpson-Waverly School concluded the program.
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