Lifeways – empowering youth to be substance free

Lifeways is a nonprofit with over 17 year of experience in the community, empowering youth to be substance free.

It’s through prevention, intervention and connection that Lifeways is able to touch the lives of so many students. Lifeways partners with schools and communities to inspire and equip students to be healthy and substance fee. By teaching students coping skills and connecting them with other services, they have a support system, so they don’t turn to drugs and alcohol.

Lifeways group

Lifeways group

Michelle Ames, Lifeways Addiction Counselor, says, “My biggest thing is building relationships with the students and then seeing that change happen, and it’s somebody that they can feel like they can come to us and they like they can trust us and so that’s the key is just building those relationships and planting those seeds because you can see a lot of change that way.”

They offer prevention education in classrooms, showing the effects that drugs and alcohol can have on a life and the importance of setting goals. Students can attend after school groups and classes as well as more intensive treatments, dealing with stress and anxiety.

Artwork showcased at Be the Change Event

Artwork showcased at ‘Be the Change’ Event

Kristina Benter, Lifeways Addiction Counselor, says, “To meet them where they are at, to help them ya know, deal with things as they come up — social media, and pressure from parents and testing, and school and college and oh my goodness they get overwhelmed very quickly. And to say that you know what, it’s ok if you are overwhelmed and give them permission to do that and give them some tools to deal with it.”

Kristina offers a piece of advice to parents who are concerned about their children’s well being, “You can show up with them. You can show up at their games, you can show up at their events, you can show up for them.”

Another aspect of the organization is youth leadership – where students learn how to be there for their peers and host community outreach events, like the ‘Be the Change’ event coming up on Saturday.

Be the Chance event flyer

‘Be the Change’ event flyer

Kristina says, “This is people’s opportunity to not just talk about it, but to show up for it, like this is important, what my kids do to express themselves is important and your presence — really show that so we are really inviting as many people as we can.”

Lifeways “Be the Change” event will be a family friendly night of art and entertainment at the Dahl Fine Arts Center beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 18th.

This event focuses on the fact that art comes in all forms such as: painting, sculpture, dance, drawing, photography, music, and singing. Please support all these positive artistic outlets as well as showing your support for a substance-free youth.

Student admission is free and adult admission is $10. Tickets can be bought at the door that evening. Click here for more information.

Categories: Local News