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

During the month of August SAFE in Northern Michigan was busy doing compliance checks! SAFE in Northern Michigan partnered with the Michigan State Police to complete alcohol compliance checks throughout Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet Counties. The compliance checks provide an opportunity to spot check local businesses to ensure they are asking for identification, and refusing to sell to underage buyers. If you missed the press release about this activity, check it out here.

SAFE also completed tobacco compliance checks across the region during August. During these compliance checks an underage youth attempted to purchase tobacco products as an undercover decoy (with the supervision of an adult). These compliance checks were very reassuring, as there were no underage tobacco sales to youth!

In addition to completing compliance checks, SAFE also ran two prevention media campaigns during the months of August and September focusing on locking up your alcohol supply! Check out the PSAs. Also, digital static ads ran to compliment the radio ads, see below.


SAFE Youth champion

Meet Rachel Pott, a senior at Charlevoix High School. Rachel has been a member of SAFE for two years and is an active participant in SAFE After Hours, SAFE Spirit Night and SAFE Movie Night, providing teens substance free activities to socialize with friends. Rachel appreciates that SAFE gives her the opportunity to be with a group of students who are also drug and alcohol free. "SAFE provides examples for our students to encourage a drug- and alcohol-free environment," she said. Rachel has seen first-hand the problem with vaping in schools, and thinks it's one of the biggest problems facing youth today. SAFE has helped her understand the negative impacts of substances on youth. "During my time in SAFE, I've learned about the impacts of substance use on the body."

Thank you, Rachel, for your commitment to SAFE and to living a substance free life! 

Meet the adult coalition members

Sierra Hilt is a community health coordinator for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan and a paramedic for Emmet County EMS. Sierra serves as the SAFE youth advisor for Pellston, Petoskey, and Boyne City High Schools. 

As an advisor, Sierra helps coordinate collaborative meetings and substance free events for youth, and she helps the high school students realize how important their voice is when it comes to education and advocacy regarding youth substance use. "I enjoy my job with SAFE in Northern Michigan because I get to work with young members of our community that are interested in making a difference," she said. "Helping them recognize ways they can create change at a young age is one of the best parts of my job!"

When Sierra isn't working or leading SAFE youth, she enjoys being outside backpacking, camping or just spending time with family and friends. 

'Lock It Up' campaign reminds parents to lock up substances

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 fall, with many schools altering their traditional Homecoming and fall celebrations, 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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