Welcome to SAFE in Northern Michigan newsletter!

SAFE in Northern Michigan exists to prevent youth substance use, increase community awareness and create change through collaboration, education, prevention initiatives and environmental strategies of tobacco, alcohol, and other substance use in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties. Each quarter, we'll bring you updates on the latest efforts by SAFE to prevent youth substance use in our communities!

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Keeping up with SAFE Youth

Spring brought difficult times for all coalitions across the state; SAFE Youth battled the changes brought by COVID-19 and the Stay at Home Order head on with the implementation of monthly SAFE Youth Zoom meetings full of brainstorming ways to keep youth prevention booming while maintaining social distancing.  Our youth really showed up to keep SAFE messaging in the eyes of their peers during this pandemic.

Our media campaign, BE SAFE, launched on April 15 and ran through June 15 on radio, television, social media and digital ads and has had a great impact throughout our three counties! This campaign featured SAFE Youth members sharing reasons why they choose to stay drug and alcohol free.  We were fortunate to complete the taping in early March before the Stay Home order was issued. Youth were also able to pass out the St. Patrick’s Day tattoos on the last day of school.  The tattoos were designed by our youth members.

With the tag line of “#BESAFE” used in the Public Service Announcements, we kept this consistent and the youth added to this campaign and shared ways they were staying safe at home by entertaining themselves while social distancing and even posted pictures in their masks on the @SAFEinNM Instagram page and Facebook page.

Even during this crazy time, area pizza shops partnered with us to do our annual Pizza Box Project!  We sent shops a #BESAFE sticker that they placed on each to go order’s box, and willing participants in this project snapped a picture of this sticker, posted it on their Instagram page tagging @SAFEinNM and were then entered to win a gift card from SAFE! This was a fun way for families to recognize that the willingness to #BESAFE in many ways during this pandemic was important and it was a great way for everyone to be involved in spreading that message!

During the past three months there have been many changes, one significate change for SAFE is that 43 of our seniors graduated out of our program.  SAFE in Northern Michigan would not exist without the hard work and dedication of the youth, each and everyone of these seniors will be greatly missed.  We thank them for all their passion and commitment to SAFE.

SAFE Youth champion

Meet Colin Robbins, a recent graduate of Pellston High School. Colin joined SAFE as a freshman and during his four years on the committee he did a variety of activities to promote a substance free environment. He hung up varsity posters featuring drug-free athletes, helped at SAFE After Hours, hung drugfree posters in school bathrooms, and distributed prevention materials for prom, homecoming, and snowcoming. Colin also had the opportunity to attend a national Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) conference in Orlando, FL.

The thing Colin has enjoyed most about SAFE is meeting new people with similar views and interests as him. Colin has found SAFE to be beneficial to his school because it helps people know that drugs are harmful and that helps to create a more positive school environment.

Recently Colin was named valedictorian of his graduating class and plans to attend the University of Michigan in the fall. Thank you, Colin for your dedication to SAFE!  

Meet the adult coalition members

Trooper Corey Hebner is a Community Service Trooper with the Michigan State Police, Gaylord Post. His professional role aligns well with his work as a SAFE advisor, helping to keep teens safe and substance use free. 

As an advisor, Corey helps guide the youth curriculum so they are knowledgeable about local trends regarding risky teenage behavior and drugs and can identify what pitfalls we are seeing in the criminal justice setting with their risk taking peers. His favorite thing about being part of SAFE is the positive interactions he has with youth in northern Michigan. 

When Corey is not helping our community reduce and prevent youth substance use he is a baseball fanatic and enjoys coaching baseball and spending time with his family. 

Lock it up campaign aims to keep youth safe during summer

Each year, SAFE in Northern Michigan creates and distributes a celebration toolkit for schools to use to keep teens safe during spring celebrations such as prom and graduation. This year, with school buildings closed, events cancelled and students under a Stay at Home Order, SAFE decided to create a campaign to remind parents and guardians to lock up their substances. The graphic above was shared with schools for use in their messages to parents. 
As part of the BE SAFE campaign, SAFE also created a billboard design featuring all of our youth who participated in the video PSAs. The students are pictured on the billboard, so be sure to be on the lookout for them around the Northern Michigan area!
Did you know that SAFE is a nonprofit organization that is partially funded by sponsorships? Each year, local businesses and organizations help provide donations that help fund SAFE programs and activities. The SAFE in Northern Michigan Fund is held at the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. We would appreciate your sponsorship! 
Learn more about becoming a sponsor
Keep up on the latest SAFE news and activities on our website!
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