You’ve been a member since 2008, why do you continue be a member of SACK?
I continue to work with SACK because I firmly believe in its mission, and feel that we are actually making a difference in our community. I have frequently said that working in the County Attorney’s Office, we see firsthand the unfortunate consequences of substance use and abuse. As a part of SACK, I feel I have the opportunity to reach our children and community members before drug abuse becomes a problem for them, and before they become involved in the criminal justice system, or with adult protection and child protection services.
What is your favorite highlight of SACK?
I had the pleasure and honor of attending a CADCA Mid-year Conference a few years ago with several coalition members. It was overwhelming to see the astronomical number of individuals and organizations who are working toward common goals. This experience made me realize that even in a smaller rural county like ours, and despite our financial constraints, there are resources available to us, the most important of which is people who have dedicated themselves to our mission.
What have you notice that has changed within the community because of SACK’s efforts?
One thing that has been very evident to me is the changing attitudes of our area youth regarding alcohol and other substances. We have some amazing levels of youth participation and leadership in prevention areas, which is ultimately the force that is going to change the culture of our community.
How have you changed personally because of your involvement in SACK?
Truthfully, having lived in Kanabec County for the past eight years, but not being “local,” my life has changed dramatically due to the interaction I’ve had through SACK with people from various sectors of the community. I feel more connected to our community because of the relationships I have developed through the coalition, and also have a better understanding of the different segments of our county, and how we fit together.
If you were to explain SACK to someone for the first time, what you tell them?
I tell people that SACK is a group of concerned youth and adults from all sectors in Kanabec County who have come together to understand the nature of drug and alcohol use/abuse in our area, and are working collectively to change that culture with the goal of having a healthier community, and making it a better place to live, work and recreate.