“It takes a village to raise a child” was the prevailing thought that started Project Success in the early 1990’s. We invited the community to join us for breakfast, and 65 people came to listen and discuss what we could do together to support the youth of Wabash County. The conversation and the people are still coming almost 20 years later. We have been thoughtful and intentional in our efforts to raise public awareness around underage drinking, responsible choices and behaviors, and supporting all kids.
Like a growing child we’ve taken our first baby steps, lived through the often chaotic time of puberty and its idea overload, and then the challenges of our early twenties, those years when we thought we knew everything. Now, as in life, we have become more adultlike – more deliberate in our approach on how we make decisions and are more determined than ever to engage all segments of our community. Do we have all the answers? No! We do have a long history of successes: the creation and implementation of a character education program for the school district; the development of an emergency dental program for low income children and youth; a youth conference for high school and middle school students; and the successful implementation of a city ordinance to ban marijuanalike substances from being sold by retailers. These contributions made by the coalition for the youth and community have been achieved by the active engagement of our members.
What are we doing now? Where are we going? Project Success is now a 501 (c) (3) notforprofit, which enables us to seek grant and foundation funding and allows individuals to make tax exempt donations. We have strengthened our bylaws and adopted specific policies and procedures. Community change does not come about just by bringing the right people together. It requires conscious, targeted group action, in order for the coalition to continue as a viable organization that is aligned with the community. We have three Project Teams currently working on areas identified through data collection and assessment; coalition development, communications and marketing, and controlled party dispersal to decrease underage drinking in Wabash County. As we continue to move forward, we sincerely hope that you will join us in this crucial effort for our youth.