5 years later...Still Leaping

In early June 2012 was when I heard about the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Delaware County. They needed to hire a Prevention Educator, and were looking to have my mom apply for the job. She didn’t think it was a good fit for her, so she mentioned to me that I should apply. I had been working at a contracting company responsible for mitigating property damage. I liked what I was doing, but I always knew I needed to work with kids. After all, that is what I went to school for. So, I took a leap and I applied for the job. After meeting with Mary (more on her later) I knew I wanted this job. Her and I connected instantly and immediately I knew I wanted to work with this person. The passion she has for the agency was contagious and by the time I left, AFTER AN HOUR 1 on 1 interview I was hooked.

June 25th, 2012, was my first day. I had no idea what to expect, I just knew I had to be a part of whatever this was. I found out that at that time we were doing programming in 4 or 5 schools at random grade levels. In my head, I thought there must have been a better way to do it, but I was new so I kept it to myself. Later that summer ADAC hired my partner in crime Amanda. Her and I began to discuss the direction of ADAC and we both concluded that there had to be a better way to maximize our efforts with the schools. So, we took a leap and completely reinvented the way we interacted with schools. Our plan was to give schools an entire day, and let them fill in as many classes as they could with the two of us spending the day there. Our curriculum allowed us to cover grades K-12, so between the two of us we covered everything. Schools began utilizing our idea and after a while we found ourselves in 9 of the 12 schools in Delaware County. In the past 5 years, we have gone from seeing 200-300 students a week to over 1000 per week.

The reason that ADAC has been able to thrive in the past 5 years is because Amanda and I have the privilege to work with an amazing boss, Mary (told you we would talk more on her later). Mary has been here for over 21 years; as a matter of fact, October will be her 22-year jobiversary. But what has made ADAC strong is that 5 years ago, Mary allowed her two brand new employees to make some drastic changes to the way that business was done in the school systems. To many, this may not seem like a big idea. But Mary took a leap on us and allowed us to implement our plan, and she completely supported us in the process. There aren’t many places where brand new employees are given the chance to do that. I have had the opportunity to work for the best boss a person could ask for in these last 5 years.  

In January of this year Mary came to me and asked me to be her Assistant Director. I had always thought eventually, maybe it would be cool to move up the ranks a little bit, but was totally not expecting that. I decided to accept the position even though I had no idea what was going to happen. I am still leaping because I am still figuring this job out. But isn’t that what life is about, taking leaps and praying you land where you are supposed to? So be encouraged, sometimes taking leaps can be scary but everything happens for a reason. I chose to believe that reason is God. He plays a huge part in my life and guides me to things that might not make sense. But I can honestly say that if my mom was never approached about a job, and she never mentioned it to me, and I never applied and met Mary, that I never would have never found this job. I never would have found my purpose in life.  

what i walked into this morning- my coworkers are amazing 

what i walked into this morning- my coworkers are amazing 

 
my desk 5 years ago on my first day 

my desk 5 years ago on my first day 

 
my desk at 10:03 on June 26, 2017

my desk at 10:03 on June 26, 2017

Prevention Update 3/16/2017

So hopefully you all survived the viciousness that was "Snow-mageddon". Our office was closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Normally we would have been in South Kortright and Margaretville, but instead, we were all stuck shoveling at home. One thing we are doing to get ourselves out there is start VideoCasts, so for today's blog entry, I give you our first one featuring Amanda Martin Decker. 

 

March 6, 2017- Happy March to you all!

We are excited with what is happening!! 

We are excited with what is happening!! 

Happy Monday, and more importantly, happy March! I can't even believe how fast this year is going! As the calendar is racing toward Spring, our Prevention Specialists are filling up their schedules. Gabby started in Roxbury this past Friday working with K, 1, 2, and 5th grade. This coming week she will be adding 7th grade.

As a matter of fact, today Amanda and Gabby are starting in one of our favorite schools, good 'ole Franklin. This is the 5th year we are back in Franklin and words can't express how much we love this school. What is most exciting is the growth we are able to measure since we have been working here. The kindergarteners that Amanda started with are now in 4th grade with Gabby. It is exciting to see the students remember and build from one year to the next.

This cycle through Franklin we are doing our Too Good For Drugs curriculum. In the Fall cycle, we do our Too Good For Violence curriculum. Both programs are put out by our friends at the Mendez Foundation, here is a link to their website:http://www.toogoodprograms.org/   So actually we are blessed to have 16 weeks with our Franklin "peeps" as we affectionately call them. We will be working with grades K-HS once again, this time focusing on issues such as goal setting, decision making, stress management, as well as particular substances in a grade appropriate manner. 

To help us, particularly in the younger grades we have animal puppets that we use.

Wagner- 2nd grade 

Wagner- 2nd grade 

Tuggles- Kindergarten 

Tuggles- Kindergarten 

Carmen- 1st grade 

Carmen- 1st grade 

So for those of you counting at home our schedule for this week and the next few weeks looks like this: 

Monday- Gabby and Amanda in Franklin: Kindergarten thru Highschool 

Tuesday- Amanda in South Kortright: Kindergarten thru 4th Grade 

Wednesday- Amanda and Justin in Margaretville- Kindergarten thru Highschool

Thursday- Office day for everyone for now

Friday- Gabby in Roxbury: Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 7th

 

Life is busy and we love! Thank you for supporting us, check back next week, and remember: We are all EMPOWERED BY CHOICE. 

Prevention Update 2/14/2017

Happy Valentines Day! Apologies for not updating the blog the last 2 weeks. We have had a lot going on. In last two weeks, we have added another school into our Too Good For Drugs rotation. Margaretville Central School is now where Justin and Amanda spend their Wednesdays. We are able to work with the entire school population in grades K-HS. We are very excited. So for those of you keeping score at home, our weeks are filling up with a different school each day. Tuesday is our South Kortright day, and now Wednesdays we are at MCS. 

Another wonderful opportunity we had is to be on the radio station in Roxbury. Our friends at WIOX 91.3 FM invited Courtney and Justin for "Wellness Wednesday" with host John Riedl and Joyce St. George. Courtney was able to have an in-depth discussion revolving around recovery as a whole and her job as a Recovery Coach. Below is a picture of this fantastic experience. 

So again, we apologize for the lack of communication in the last few weeks but we have been busy. Things are staying crazy (in a good way of course) for us here at ADAC and we look forward to serving our community in any way we can! Ultimately we want everyone to realize that they can be EMPOWERED BY CHOICE.