On Tuesday, May 22nd the UBHCHY Coalition shared the 2012 Student Support Card at a town hall meeting held at the Perkasie campus of the Bucks County Community College. The meeting was attended by nearly 100 persons, of which one-third were high school students from the Palisades, Pennridge and Quakertown high schools. Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick kicked off the event with a few introductory remarks. He thanked coalition members for their work, especially their involvement with the Rx Drug Take Back events.
UBHCHY Chair, Karen Richter welcomed everyone and shared various highlights of the past year before introducing Lee Rush, UBHCHY Community Mobilizer, who shared results from the most recent youth survey conducted with all 8th, 10th and 12th graders in Upper Bucks. The bi-annual survey measures levels of the 40 Developmental Assets along with 24 risk behaviors. Lee highlighted several positive gains including the following:
- 36 out of 40 asset categories have increased since 2002.
- The asset categories with the largest percentage increases were: 1) Parent Involvement (41%), 2) Youth Given Useful Roles (39%), 3) Caring School Climate (31%), 4) Bonding to School (28%), and 5) Planning and Decision-making (23%).
- Total number of assets possessed by youth since 2002 has increased from 17.5 to 19.6- a 12% increase.
- Total % of students possessing 20 or more assets has increased from 34% to 44%- a 29% increase.
- A majority of all youth do not regularly use (prior 30-day period) alcohol, tobacco or marijuana- 71%, 88% and 84% respectively.
- Previous 30-day alcohol use among 8th graders has decreased from baseline of 18% to 10% in 2012 – a 44% reduction.
- Previous 30-day tobacco use among 8th graders has decreased from baseline of 9% to 4% in 2012 – a 56% reduction.
- Previous 30-day marijuana use among 8th graders has decreased from baseline of 7% to 3% in 2012 – a 57% reduction.
- 77% of youth report it is important to them to stand up for their beliefs even if their position is unpopular.
- 77% of youth possess a positive view of their future- an all-time high since data collection began in 2002.
After the sharing of survey results, UBHCHY Community Educator, Ray Fox led an exercise where small groups of 6-7 persons (each with youth members), examined the reasons why youth engage in underage drinking. Each group was asked to look at both the positive and negative consequences that could occur through the eyes of young people if they were to engage in such behavior. The results are being compiled and will be sent to all participants. Here is a link to a video and commentary about the event: http://qcsd.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=47c2c7f9dd90fc7bd2f41bb0df922b55
At the conclusion of the event, a light lunch was served by students from the Upper Bucks Vocational-Technical school. Several newspaper reporters were in attendance and covered the event with in-depth stories. Here are links to area coverage:
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