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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.

upcoming events

Feb 4, 2020

*NEW Diabetes Prevention Program in Shelby, MI

Classes starting on Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 from 5:45pm to 6:45pm at the Mercy Health Lakeshore Conference Room.

YMCA DPP Brochure_2019

Feb 11, 2020

YMCA Offering Diabetes Prevention Program in Shelby, MI

Classes starting on Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 from 5:45pm to 6:45pm at the Mercy Health Lakeshore Conference Room.

YMCA DPP Brochure_2019

Feb 18, 2020

YMCA Offering Diabetes Prevention Program in Shelby, MI

Classes starting on Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 from 5:45pm to 6:45pm at the Mercy Health Lakeshore Conference Room.

YMCA DPP Brochure_2019

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

2020 Men’s Health Fair: Providing Screenings To Those In Need

The Health Project held the 2020 African American Men’s Health Fair on Saturday, January 4th at Muskegon Heights High School from 9am to 1pm. Diabetes, Prostate, Blood Pressure, Breathing Test, Vision Screenings and more were offered to over 66 men who attended the event.

 

what’s happening

Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon Launches New Website

Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County Launches New Website

Muskegon, MI – The Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County (DFC) has launched a new website. The …

2020 Men's Health Fair: Providing Screenings For Those In Need

“So many young men who do not have insurance need to be covered. You’d be surprised that younger people are having more problems today. Early detection is …

YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program Now In Shelby, MI!

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program gives you the skills you need and the support you deserve to make lasting healthy lifestyle changes.

New classes begin on Tuesday, …

Shout! Out

Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon Launches New Website

The Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County has launched a new website, which highlights community organizations and services for individuals who are seeking information on treatment, detox, or recovery services. The website consists of state and local statistics and data, local agencies and community collaboratives, current legislation around substance use disorder (SUD), and educational resources.

 

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