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The Elephant in the Room

The Santa Cruz County Superintendent’s Office was recently invited to the state capitol to participate in the 2nd Annual Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family in Phoenix, Arizona on October 24th. The event was hosted by the governor’s office as part of their Red Ribbon Week. The theme of the event  “The Elephant in the Room” was introduced by the Governor Doug Ducey to bring awareness on substance abuse. The goal is to help support prevention programs within Arizona that help reduce substance abuse among youth.

The Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District #35 Calabasas Middle School was selected as one of the educational community members around the state to host two “Back to School” events that would collaboratively bring together the Governor’s substance abuse initiative to Santa Cruz County. Alfredo I. Velásquez and Jon Fanning were both invited by the governor’s office and recognized for their work in the Healthy Youth Education Pilot Initiative in Santa Cruz County.  

“ I would like to thank Governor Ducey on behalf of the parents, youth, educational communities of Santa Cruz County for creating this partnership and embracing such an important topic in our communities that must never be silenced or ignored,” said Alfredo I. Velásquez.

The main goal for participating in these statewide initiatives, was to empower parents and youth to work as a family in addressing the issue of substance abuse. The Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District #35 hosted the Healthy Youth Education Pilot Initiative at the Calabasas Middle school. The events were well attended by youth and parents, where they had an opportunity to learn about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. The main purpose of hosting these events at the school were to educate and empower them to have an open dialogue of the harmful effects of substance abuse. The initiative helped both parents and youth embrace the idea of working together as a family, to design a plan that would reflect behavior expectations and their own values at home.   

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