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2012-13 PACT Youth Internship Community Mapping Results Presented

Filed in Internships, News by on November 2, 2012 • views: 299
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By Sara Romanello, Sammy Goldman, Alex Crowley, Juliana Mora and Kate Morrell, PACT’s 2012 Summer Interns

This year we interned at PACT through their inaugural Youth Internship and Leadership Training Program. PACT is a coalition in Pelham that helps kids make safe and healthy decisions abPACT 2012 interns croppedout drugs and alcohol. Through our internship, we not only learned about alternatives for kids that don’t involve underage drug and alcohol use, but we also worked on a Community Mapping Survey Project aimed at finding out what is available in Pelham for kids to give them alternatives to making destructive decisions. The results of the survey will help us create a plan of action moving forward to improve and encourage the offerings to Pelham’s youth through fun and creative ways.

We designed a survey to give to the businesses and nonprofits in Pelham on what they all offered and how aware they are of the problems with drugs and alcohol in this neighborhood. We distributed surveys and collected results by walking around town, sending letters, and emailing to different businesses and non-profits. Survey results were entered online so we could analyze the information.

We found the businesses and organizations in Pelham to be very cooperative and the survey proved to be very successful. We went to 141 different businesses and organizations in our search. We received 55 survey responses (28.6% were nonprofits) and learned about what each organization offered. We found the easiest way for us to gather our information was by asking the questions ourselves because we were able to make sure that all of the different organizations interpreted the survey in the same way and therefore our results were more accurate. In addition, we gained a lot of useful information from every survey that was answered.

The results of the survey helped us to complete our project. Results detailed below reflect only those 55 organizations that completed the survey.

ACTIVITIES AND INVOLVEMENT WITH YOUTH

Most of the businesses start hiring at age 18, but 46% of all of the businesses and organizations that answered the survey have paid job opportunities for youth, one great way to keep teens busy and away from drugs and alcohol.

  • Only 49.1% of the organizations offer activities for youth.
  • 86.4% have sponsored a school or youth activity.
  • 54.5% said that they would be willing to sponsor events in the future. Examples of ways they have sponsored before are by providing food and bottled water to sporting events, providing auction prizes, and donations to fundraisers.
  • 33.3% said they would be willing to offer discounts for the students of PMHS especially during the school year.
  • 51% have mentored a student before to teach them about their job.
  • Only 27.7% offer scholarships and 30.6% offer internships.

AWARENESS OF YOUTH PROBLEMS IN PELHAM AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • 67.3% of organizations said they think alcohol is a problem.
  • 42.3% think tobacco use is a problem.
  • 32.7% said they didn’t know what the problems were in Pelham.
  • 49% said Pelham needs more youth oriented programs.
  • 46.9% said we need more out-of-school activities.
  • 42.9% were for more enforcement of underage drinking laws.
  • 34.7% said we need more jobs for youth.
  • 85.7% said that the most important way to prevent these problems is more parental involvement.

Moving forward, the PACT interns hope to plan many future Y2Y (Youth to Youth) events across the town of Pelham and Westchester County. We are discussing and scheduling fun activities on Friday nights such as rock climbing and dodge ball tournaments that could be a great way to meet new friends and hang with the ones you know. We encourage all youth to attend these nights. They won’t regret it! These nights are all part of the big picture at PACT: to prevent youth from substance and alcohol abuse.

PACT is a community coalition encouraging youth to make healthy, safe and substance-free choices. PACT carries out its mission through programs that engage the entire community. Visit pelhampact.org for more information and like us on Facebook.

(Pictured above, from left to right: Sammy Goldman, Kate Morrell, Sara Romanello,  Alex Crowley and Juliana Mora. This story originally appeared in The Pelham Weekly on October 26, 2012.)

11/2/12

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