The mission of Project Safety Association (PSA) is to expand existing school and community substance abuse, health and safety education by providing high impact measurable prevention programming for youth and families in the New Hampshire Seacoast region.
PSA was formed as a NH non-profit corporation in 2011 following three successful years of the Portsmouth Middle School Project Safety Conference, a substance abuse prevention program for 7th graders and their parents.
Project Safety In Action
The Portsmouth Middle School Project Safety conference is a full-day program for 7th graders and their parents. The conference features dynamic workshops that educate participants about youth substance abuse and the factors that lead to high-risk behavior. The workshops focus on: teen drug/alcohol prevention, internet safety, parent-teen communications, bullying and peer pressure, and other important health and safety topics.
Several workshops encourage attitudinal and social change by exposing participants to the real life experiences of adults and teens whose lives have been dramatically impacted by drug use. Workshop facilitators are well known, highly recommended professionals who are experts in these areas of teen high-risk behaviors. The emotional impact of these real life experiences leaves our students and parents with a heightened awareness of the seriousness of these high-risk issues.
Our Impact in the Community
There is no question that our youth face health and safety risks that are more dangerous than ever before. The experimentation with drugs and alcohol starts at a very young age. Binge drinking and availability of prescription drugs have significantly increased the risk of teen drug involvement. The internet and cell phone texting have presented new and increased risks especially to vulnerable youth anxious to keep up with “friends” in the cyber-world. Peer pressure and bullying have taken on a new face with the availability of the Internet and have become increasingly more violent, making these behaviors more threatening than ever. Moreover, recent local events confirm the existence and extreme risks associated with these behaviors. The Project Safety Conference is now in its 4th year and has already brought about significant positive attitudinal changes and awareness in students and their families regarding the dangerous and potentially life threatening consequences of substance abuse.
Additional PSA prevention programming will insure that the education regarding substance abuse and its precursor behaviors already conveyed through the Project Safety Conference, will commence in early education and continue throughout secondary education.
Plans for the Future
The success of the 7th Grade Conference led the directors to incorporate PSA. Expanding our prevention programming means that we will develop and implement substance abuse prevention programs at all grade levels (K-12). plans to develop and implement substance abuse prevention programs at all grade levels (K-12). We are currently developing a 10th grade substance abuse prevention conference “What Comes Next”, specifically geared to high school students. We are also developing programming for younger students to help them recognize risk behaviors as they transition between elementary, middle and high school. Finally, we will bring a series of parent forums regarding the signs and symptoms of high-risk behavior.
How Can You Help?
We are proud of the positive impact Project Safety has had in our community. PSA is committed to providing substance abuse and other high-risk youth behavior prevention programming throughout the Seacoast for many years to come. The support of the community and our collaboration with other agencies has been overwhelming. But we need your help!
You can support Project Safety Association through your tax deductible donation or by supporting Project Safety Association’s first major fundraiser, the PSA Road Race and Family Team Run scheduled for Saturday, September 29, 2012. This event will be PSA’s kick off to the new school year. Your name will appear in all marketing materials pursuant to the level of your donation.
Please join us in our effort to prevent teen substance abuse on the Seacoast and help us continue to make a difference!
For more information about supporting PSA financially, contact Karen Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or running in the PSA Road Race, contact Jennifer Giegengack at Jen.Giegengack@gmail.com.