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Commit. Collaborate. Change.

PACT is a community coalition empowering youth to make healthy and safe life choices.

History and Mission

Founded 20 years ago in 1997, the Pelham PACT Coalition (PACT) is a youth-centered, community coalition formed to empower Pelham’s youth to make healthy, safe, and substance-free life choices. At the same time, PACT strives to promote a protective and nurturing environment in which teens make meaningful connections and allowing them to thrive. The PACT coalition is made up of all sectors in the community, including businesses, schools, faith-based organizations, local government, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, civic / volunteer organizations, youth, parents, youth-serving organizations, media, and prevention experts exemplifying the need for everyone to be involved in support of our youth.

Youth-Related Activities

  • Pelham Youth Leadership Council (YLC): The YLC is a youth-led but adult-guided group that allows teenagers to come together to explore topics and events that are of interest to them in a fun, interactive space. Tens interact in ways that encourage building new skills, grappling with and solving meaningful social issues, and reaching out to different groups across the community. At bi-weekly meetings, youth discuss and develop actions regarding issues that are relevant to them. Recent projects have included refugee and resettlement work, peer leadership, and planning social events for Pelham teens, including managing the marketing, social media and website promotional work for these events.
  • Pelham LOFT: Working with local groups and businesses, the YLC has created a “pop-up teen center” called Pelham LOFT. Youth reach out to and organize teen events at different locations around town, providing alternative social events for teenagers to enjoy on a regular basis. Youth are free to present an idea to YLC and work together to make it happen by conducting polls to establish interest, coordinating efforts with other local groups, organize volunteers, and experiment with fundraising. Youth administer the Pelham LOFT website, posting all events and information of interest to teenage youth, and update with reviews following events. They also manage all social media channels for the Pelham LOFT on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Summer Internships and Youth Leadership Summit: PACT hosts a summer internship program for 10 local youth to engage in meaningful, project-based work. They present the results of their work at a community Town Hall every fall. Additionally, PACT organizes and hosts an annual, day-long Youth Leadership Summit for middle and high school aged-youth. Both programs feature inspirational speakers and present opportunities for project-based work for youth to further develop leadership and communication skills, connect with local adults, work as a team, build self-confidence, and inspire a passion for civic engagement.

Parents and Community

PACT serves as local prevention expert in the community, through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors in youth. Through its website and social media (Facebook and Twitter), informational postcards and resources, and community-wide events, PACT empowers adults and the community at large by arming them with data, strategies, research, and local resources, that encourage families to TALK to one another about the difficulties of making healthy choices and decisions. The information also provides adults with a number of options for how to actively CARE for young people who are navigating a world in which it is difficult to make healthy decisions. The real life stories and situations shared by PACT are active examples of what it means and how important it is to GUIDE our youth today. Finally, PACT strives to acknowledge that being a MODEL for our young people is done in different ways for different people, and therefore as many examples as possible for healthy modeling are available.

  • Public Awareness Campaigns: PACT creates and delivers various public awareness campaigns that support positive community norms and youth development. Our current campaign, “We Connect. It Matters,” encourages parents to take the time to Talk, Care, Guide, and Model behaviors that build a strong connection with their child and the youth in our community.
  • Community Advisory Council: A group of local coalition partners, this Council meets throughout the year to share the latest in Pelham data and use it to drive community response. Working groups devise goals and specific action steps to move the youth agenda forward, developing relevant, concrete ways that various local groups can become involved in supporting teenage youth in Pelham.
  • Heart of Pelham PACT (HOPP) Award: As a youth recognition award, the HOPP Award is designed to recognize and celebrate positive contributions made by Pelham youth who demonstrate excellence in compassion, leadership, determination, perseverance, and integrity. Corporate and non-profit sponsors support each award, which is handed out to youth three times per year (two students each period, six students in total). The nomination process is completely on-line, and reviewed by a committee on an anonymous basis. The winners are celebrated at a small ceremony at a local Café, and receive a gift card, a certificate, and appear in the local paper and on posters displayed throughout town.  
  • Adult Guides for YLC: Adult guides are adults from the community who support the young people on the YLC working on a particular initiative. These adults bring particular experience and expertise that they bring to the youth as they problem solve, coordinate, and connect with other entities in town in order to be successful. Whether the effort they support is a successful youth event, a presentation to the school superintendent, or developing a skit for elementary-aged children on wellness or bullying, adult guides develop positive connections with community teens, and support their development of real-world skills.