Volunteer Judy Soderstrom

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Member Since:  03/06/2014

Why did you choose to become a member of SACK?

I appreciate the SACK mission to help reduce alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse among youth as I have seen the wasted lives in our local jail.  Helping SACK reach this goal is important to me.  The financial cost for our jails and prisons in Minnesota is huge.

What is one talent or skill that you bring to SACK?

From 2002 through 2006 I served as the MN State Representative for Kanabec County and served four years as a member of the Public Safety Committee where I heard hours of testimony about meth.  I understand the process and the importance for contacting your Representative and Senator about issues such as for the medical marijuana bill which recently passed.  I would like our youth to understand the importance of being involved and interested in what is happening at our State Capitol.

What are you most interested in or passionate about when it comes to preventing youth substance use?

As a Pilot Outreach volunteer in the Kanabec and Pine County jails for 15 years, I have seen hundreds of inmates who have ruined their lives because of drug and alcohol use.  They have not only ruined their own lives because of their drug and alcohol use, but have a great impact on their children.  Prison Fellowship’s statistics show that 70% of children of offenders will end up in jail or prison.  I am passionate about the faith based Celebrate Recovery Program that I am helping with at True Vine Lutheran Church in Mora.  Helping with the child care at CR is putting “faces” on those children who are a risk of using drugs when they reach their teen years.

What you have gained by being involved with SACK?

Being involved with SACK has given me an opportunity to hear many educational speakers like hearing about suicide prevention and how drugs are so harmful to the brain.  Also, just meeting others in our community with a passion to help our youth has been exciting.  Networking is so important and helpful.

What is one hope you have for future generations in this community?

I hope that as SACK begins to see results of our youth changing their lifestyles and choosing not to use drugs and alcohol, we would see them reaching out to others who need help.  I have a hope that families who were once broken because of alcohol and drug use will be healed and become productive members of our community.