Mindful Parenting

L to R: Olivia Sorenson, Dianna Kesner, Cristina Cortesi, and I get ready to speak at the Stand Strong "Mindful Parenting" presentation on November 9th, 2015.

L to R: Olivia Sorenson, Dianna Kesner, Cristina Cortesi, and I get ready to speak at the Stand Strong “Mindful Parenting” presentation on November 9th, 2015.

Royal Melbourne Homeowners Association provided a resource to our community last Monday evening by hosting a “Mindful Parenting” seminar on Youth Substance Use Prevention. Three members of the Stand Strong Coalition from Stevenson High School were on hand to talk to parents and answer questions: Dr. Christina Cortesi, SHS Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Detective Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, and SHS Senior Olivia Sorenson, who shared her personal experiences and perspectives.

The Stand Strong Coalition was formed to help educate parents and teens on the health risks associated with alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drug abuse in young adults, without being judgmental. The purpose is to change cultural norms by getting the community engaged in strategies for change, such as being aware of the risks and consequences of social hosting. In less than two years, Stand Strong has qualified for a $625,000 federal grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and this will go a long way towards helping spread the positive message. I am proud to represent Long Grove as a member of this organization.

SHS parent and fearless leader Jamie Epstein, who is one of the founders of Stand Strong and now serves as our coordinator, was called away at the last minute to receive an award for Community Service from Congressman Dold the night of our Royal Melbourne presentation. I stepped in to fill her shoes with opening remarks and introductions but I am only one small part of the stakeholders in our community who have come together to help this organization grow and succeed. And thanks to residents like those at Royal Melbourne, we are spreading the message one neighborhood at a time.