Every Life Matters: How Impact Youth Prevention brings hope to at-risk teens
Amy Archuleta is a prevention specialist with Impact Youth Prevention serving at-risk teens in the Abilene area. She teaches a twelve lesson program for youth called Project Towards No Drug Abuse and spends time mentoring these high school students and helping them set concrete goals. This Spring, Archuleta saw the curriculum hit home for many of her students, but the change in one young lady’s life was particularly remarkable.
“While implementing curriculum and conducting indicated counseling at a local high school this year I discovered a young lady that desperately needed help,” said Archuleta.
Indicated counseling is a process of meeting with students individually to assess their needs, help them set goals, and refer them to school, professional, and community-based resources as needed.
“I was able to assist her in addressing and communicating her emotional distress with her parents and school counselor,” said Archuleta.
She was also able to connect this student with great community resources like a teen recovery group, a local counselor, and social service agencies for help with physical needs. As the student learned new coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s challenges, she no longer had to turn to drugs as her only coping mechanism.
“Since our first meeting together this student reports reducing all of her substance abuse,” said Archuleta. “She continues to access local resources to improve her mental and emotional stability so that drug use is not the coping mechanism that she uses to deal with stress.”
Even more importantly, Archuleta equipped this student with the desire and ability to set goals for herself, which can make a long term difference in her ability to deal with adversity.
“She was able to set three personal goals with me that she accomplished within 12 weeks,” said Archuleta. “She was inspired to continue setting goals so she could feel accomplished andsuccessful more regularly. This young lady gained skills in assertive communication and emotional regulation that have increased and improved her relationships. I was able to witness her developing intrinsic motivation which has enabled her to begin reclaiming and improving her quality of life.”
This is just one story of a student whose life was changed because she was equipped with skills, connected with resources, and believed in.
Every year, Impact prevention specialists work with over 9,000 students in the Abilene area, Cisco, Eastland, Wichita Falls, and Weatherford. Learn more about the Impact Youth Prevention program, or learn how to bring Impact to your classroom.