Special Event: Dr. Michael Bradley "Crazy-Stressed: Saving today's overwhelmed teens" - Evening Session
Special Event: Dr. Michael J. Bradley "When things get crazy with your adolescent/teen: The Why, The How, The What to do Now - Morning Event
While the summer season is considered a "break" from studies, Catalyst students are committed to continuing to advocate for teen health by meeting with local, county, and state officials. On Friday, July 13, Catalyst students Vrushali Thakkar, Noelle Kurien, and Alex Zhou met with Lanetta Haynes Turner, Deputy Chief of Staff, Cook County, IL for Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle to discuss why the commercialization of marijuana is detrimental to the health of youth.
While advocating and educating our community is critical to combating teen substance abuse, continuing to educate our coalition and exposing these education opportunities to Catalyst members is just as important. Every year, members of Stand Strong Coalition and Catalyst students travel to CADCA's Mid-year training to learn, share, and connect with coalitions nationwide, and in turn they bring back this knowledge to the rest of the Stand Strong and Catalyst members. This year, nine Catalyst students attended this year's conference held July 15 through 19th in Orlando, Florida.
Stand Strong Coalition and Catalyst is committed to educating and advocating on behalf of teen health in our communities.
CADCA's 28th Annual National Leadership Forum was held in early February at National Harbor, MD. During the conference, Stevenson High School senior and Catalyst Club student founder, Ananya Pati, was presented with the Advocate of the Year award. We're also excited to share that last year's Stand Strong Coalition speaker, Dr. Bertha K. Madras, a professor at Harvard Medical School, received the National Leadership Award for her significant contributions made to the field of substance abuse prevention and her long-standing support to community-based drug prevention.
Ananya's and Dr. Madras' commitment and dedication to raising awareness, educating communities, and making teen health a priority continues to inspire and drive Stand Strong Coalition's and Catalyst Club's momentum and goals forward.
We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our Executive Director, Jamie Epstein, and Stand Strong Coalition Board Member Claudia Kasten, Chief of Juvenile Division, Lake County, IL State's Attorney's Office for their guidance and leadership.
However, our gratitude does not end there. We are grateful and humbled by Stand Strong Coalition's volunteer Board Members, our volunteers, Stevenson's Catalyst Club students, as well as the middle school/junior high school Catalyst students, participating law enforcement departments, guest speakers, involved parents, our schools, and our communities. Together we are impacting and saving lives.
Join us for Stand Strong Coalition's 4th annual "Making the Transition to Stevenson High School" community event. This popular event offers parents and incoming freshman a great opportunity to learn more about the SOCIAL transition from middle school / junior high school to high school.
Students, find out how to:
Don’t miss this SIMULTANEOUS learning opportunity for your student and yourselves.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, 7–8:30 p.m.
Stevenson High School – Recital Hall
One Stevenson Drive, Lincolnshire, IL
Please enter via Lot B Circle Drive Entrance.
Recital Hall is located to the right of the Performing Arts Center (PAC).
In one room:
Incoming Stevenson freshmen will hear from a panel of SHS Catalyst students and have a casual, candid Q&A discussion about social life at school and on weekends for Stevenson students.
In another room:
Parents of incoming Stevenson freshmen will hear from an expert panel including:
For planning purposes, we ask that parents and their students please RSVP via EVENTBRITE. Just click on the button below!
ALL incoming 2018-19 Stevenson freshmen, their parents, and other interested adults are welcome to this community program.
Email Stand Strong Executive Director, Jamie Epstein: firstname.lastname@example.org
by In September 2017, #Catalyst SHS students met with State Senator Julie Morrison to advocate on behalf of all youth. They discussed the risks of e-cigarette use among youth and shared the benefits of Tobacco21 in Illinois.
As a result of their meeting, Stevenson Catalyst Club members Borler Wu, Katherine Yao, Melissa Hauptman, and Ashleigh Machado traveled to Springfield this past Tuesday, January 30 where they participated in a press conference which included Illinois lawmakers Senator Julie Morrison, Senator John G. Mulroe, State Representative Camille Y. Lilly, State Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin, American Heart Association - Illinois, and other health organizations to propose raising the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21 statewide by passing Senate Bill 2332.
The premise of the law is simple: Teens and young adults are likely to quit smoking, or never start, if they have to ask those 21 and older to buy cigarettes for them.
Catalyst member Borler Wu spoke at the press conference and continued to make the case for #Tobacco21 on behalf of Illinois youth everywhere.
Catalyst members then met with local legislatures to continue discussions about the proposed bill, including Senator Morrison, Senator Dan McConchie, State Representative Scott Drury, and State Representative Nick Sauer.
We are incredibly proud of the advocacy work Catalyst students are doing, and we will continue to support them on their goal to have the Tobacco 21 bill passed.
Four Catalyst Students Testify at Hearing with Lawmakers
Democratic State Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago proposed legislation that would legalize the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana and allow facilities to sell marijuana products.
On Monday, January 22, 2018, four Catalyst students testified at a hearing with lawmakers about the proposed legalization of marijuana in Illinois. Stevenson Catalyst members included Seniors Devin Smith and Ananya Pati, freshman Alexander Zhou and sophomore Vrushali Thakkar. The students argued against legalization, citing evidence showing the negative effects of marijuana on the developing teen brain. They were joined by fellow Catalyst members and current Twin Groves eighth-graders Lexi Gitler and Eden Mondschain.
The group also met with state Sen. Dan McConchie, who represents the 26th District, which includes parts of District 125, including Vernon Hills, Long Grove, Lake Zurich and a portion of Buffalo Grove.
On Tuesday, several Catalyst members will travel to Springfield and participate in a press conference led by the Illinois Coalition Against Tobacco. The group will announce legislation to raise the minimum age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21, and will recognize the 10th anniversary of Illinois’ smoke-free air law. Senior Borler Wu is scheduled to speak on behalf of state youth at the press conference.
Stand Strong Coalition will be hosting a 2 part series on the proposed legalization of recreational marijuana and what the implications can mean to our youth and community.
Join us for Part 1 on Thursday, January 11 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lincolnshire Village Hall with special guest speaker Dr. Aaron Weiner, Director of Addiction, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.
Be sure to save the date for Part 2 of this special series scheduled for Thursday, February 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lincolnshire Village Hall. We look forward to learning from Kuei Yuan Tseng, MD, PhD of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Dr. Tseng will will share his research on marijuana and the teen brain with attendees.
We specifically scheduled an event during the day and in the evening to make it easier for community members to attend at least one event.
As always, Stand Strong Coalition is committed to continue providing community education so that we can all make informed decisions regarding the future of our communities.
On Thursday, December 14, 2017, Catalyst Middle School students worked to make our communities safer with officers representing Lake County IL Sheriff's, Village of Lincolnshire Police Department, and Vernon Hills Police Department. A sincere thank you for their time and commitment to making our communities safe by participating in the Sticker Shock campaign!
What is Sticker Shock?
A Sticker Shock Campaign is a project where the community, youth, police and alcohol retailers all work together to combat minors obtaining access to alcohol. With these sectors partnering, they create a message, which is then printed onto stickers and placed on products in stores. The messaging is geared towards adults to stop them from purchasing alcohol for minors.
Students received a bundle of tags that said “Don't Buy for Minors.” The students would place as many tags as they could all over multi-packs of alcohol beverages to shock the community and get them to ask questions and discuss the dangers of underage drinking.
The Sticker Shock program is well aligned with the Stand Strong's mission to provide youth the protective factors needed to help make positive decisions for their future. The mission of the growing Catalyst program at both the middle school and high school level is to educate, provide informal counseling, and safety to students and teachers.
Dear Community Members,
As we approach the holidays, we get so caught up in buying the perfect gifts, decorating the house, and entertaining relatives, that we sometimes forget about making sure our teens are safe. However, the holidays can be a time of high risk for teens in terms of alcohol and drug use. It can start with “Blackout Wednesday,” which is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when college students come home and get together with high school friends. This night is often associated with binge drinking to the point of losing memory or “blacking out.” According to the Sun Times, in the Chicago suburbs, Blackout Wednesday can be a more popular drinking night than New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday break can also be a high-risk time as elementary, middle school, and college students have more free time and celebrations are in full swing. Consider sharing the gift of your undivided time and attention to connect with your teens.
Remember, it is illegal to host a party for those under 21 years of age regardless of whether you purchased the alcohol or not. Violations not only include your home but property(s) that you rent as well, such as a hotel room, banquet hall, a limousine, etc. If someone is injured or killed as a result of the social hosting, you run the risk of being charged with a Class 4 felony and sentenced to between 1 and 3 years imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines. You would also face the risk of being sued in civil court. Again, the onus of the social host violation rests on the adult(s). The law assumes that you know the happenings in your home(s)—even if you are away. It is imperative to take all precautions necessary to prevent alcohol from being consumed by minors in your home or property.
Science has proved that the teenage brain continues to develop until the age of 25. What does that statement imply? Simply that this is the last time your child’s brain will grow this extensively, and any alcohol and drug use can harm this process. It is vital for parents and frankly any adult, to keep these young and developing minds safe from the risks and consequences of underage drinking and drug use. Science has given us the power to make new, more informed choices when it comes to how we parent these young brain factories. Here are some important tips to help you keep your teen(s) alcohol and drug-free:
For more information about underage drinking and drug prevention or how to host an alcohol-free party, please subscribe to our site or follow us on Facebook. Wishing everyone a very happy and safe holiday season.
Stand Strong Coalition and Catalyst Club