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Highlighting Members of STATS: Straight Talk About Tough Stuff

Jennifer LaChapelle, STATS Coordinator at the Health Project.

Q. How long have you been involved with STATS?

A. I have been the STATS Coordinator for one year in August. The program has been around for 25+ years.

Q. What is your favorite part about STATS?

A. My favorite part is getting to know the high school students who go out and present. They all have their own unique reason for taking the pledge to stay Free from Sex, Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco. It is wonderful to get to know their personalities and help them express themselves.

Q. Why do you think it’s important to educate your friends and fellow students on substance use and abuse?

A.  This is effective because it is peer education. It is high schoolers presenting to middle schoolers with the message that not everyone is doing it. This is key for a lot of students because social norming tells them that “everyone is doing it so they may as well, too. What can really happen?” For a lot of students, breaking the social norm helps them to say “no” and just walk away. For a lot of our presenters, this is a very personal topic, as they know someone who has been effected negatively by substance abuse.

Q. What are a couple things you learned from STATS? Any takeaways?

A. Students learn the 4-Way stop – say no with confidence, change the subject, reverse the pressure and just walk away. They also learn comeback lines and how to set personal boundaries. Presenters can also give personal talks on how they have been effected by abuse and how they cope with it. The key here is to empower the middle schoolers to be their own voice of what they want for their future.

Sarah Yonkman, STATS Team Lead.

Sarah is also employed at Mercy Health where she works as a registered nurse in the emergency department.

Q. How long have you been involved with STATS?

A. I have been a STATS team leader for one year and merging into my second.

Q. What is your favorite part about STATS?

A. My favorite part about STATS is the time I get to spend with the high school kids working toward educating our future young adults about ways to avoid peer pressure and teach them it’s okay to not follow “what everyone else is doing”.  As an adult now, I want these kids to know how respectable it is to say, “No” and love themselves more; to understand they are worth it.  When I say “worth it”, I mean staying free from emotional and physical harm they can unintentionally cause themselves by entering into unhealthy relationships or getting involved with substances—something the “adult me” wishes the “younger me” would have understood.

Q. Why do you think it’s important to educate your friends and fellow students on substance use and abuse?

A. I work in the ER department and see the effects of substance abuse daily.  I see young adults and older adults who have entered into a world of substance abuse, some that have young children, some who are distant from their families due to the hold the addiction has on them. As a mother of 3 kids; ages 22, 11 and 9, I want more for them.  My own family has several adults who have become addicted to a substance of some kind.  I want to help be their chance to see what is out there and help them develop the confidence to say, “No” and to know they are worth it.  I also feel the same way about my high school students and the students they go in front of. I have a great respect for the high school students that I worked with last year.  It’s hard to be “that guy”; to go up in front of peers and practice what they speak; to remain free from unhealthy relationships and free from substances.

Q. What are a couple things you learned from STATS? Any takeaways?

A. If there is one student that we can reach with our message, it’s worth it.

Kenna Grant , 12th grade student and member of STATS

Q. How long have you been involved with STATS?

A. This will be my fourth year with STATS.

Q. What is your favorite part about STATS?

A. My favorite part about STATS is the amazing opportunity we are given as peers, and role models, to teach these kids how to make good choices, to live a free and healthy life not only through our performances, but also by example.

Q. Why do you think it’s important to educate your friends and fellow students on substance use and abuse?

A. I think that it’s important to educate my peers on substance use and abuse because too often today we are taught by the world and social media, and not by those who love us and have the best intentions at heart. This often can be misleading and so confusing. By teaching lifestyle based on freedom, the best of intentions are at heart.

Q. What are a couple things you learned from STATS? Any takeaways?

A. STATS has been a blessing to me. I have learned so much from this program. Personally, I have always stayed out of trouble, made the right choices and surrounded myself with people who also make the right choice. I am so very thankful and blessed that I was so lovingly taught this lifestyle by my parents, family, and church. I also now know this is not the case for everyone. Not only do people struggle making the right choice, but many of them either don’t have the tools and support to make the right choice, or even can’t tell what that choice is.

Q. What are your hobbies outside of STATS?

A. Outside of STATS, some of my favorite hobbies are playing volleyball, baking, and being around family and friends. I am also involved in IMPACT, varsity volleyball, PALs, ski club, men’s volleyball volunteer coach, Harvest student ministries, Wednesday Warriors, STATS advisory board, youth volleyball volunteer, and Harvest infant volunteer.

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our services

The Health Project provides a number of direct services to eligible members of the community. These services include the following programs:

Service Highlight

Pharmaceutical Access Program: Navigating Resources to Best Assist the Client

“Pharmaceutical Access” is much broader than just funding the cost of prescriptions. It encompasses reviewing a person’s insurance coverage, income and resources, as well as medication needs. We then assist them with navigating insurance enrollment and coverage issues. It also includes exploring opportunities to utilize pharmaceutical company resources, such as copay saving cards and patient assistance programs. The Pharmaceutical Access Program staff look for savings and resources in all areas and help each client navigate those resources as needed.

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Meet the Health Project Board Chair, Rem Sprague

Q. What is your role at Mercy Health? How does that position you to be influential in your work at the Health Project?

A. I am the …

Shout! Out

Muskegon ALI Logo

Muskegon ALI Completes 2019 Decoy Operations

The Muskegon Alcohol Liability Initiative (Muskegon ALI) and participating agencies would like to recognize the alcohol retailers who have passed the 2019 Muskegon ALI Alcohol Compliance Checks. As a group of law enforcement officers and concerned citizens, our mission is to reduce underage drinking and alcohol-related injuries in Muskegon County.

 

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