Safe Halloween

Here is a fun, safe acronym to help keep our little monsters safe!

S-Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

A-Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

F-Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

E-Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

H-Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

A-Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

L-Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

L-Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

O-Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

W-Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

E-Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

E-Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

N-Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.( Source  )

Coalition for Auburn and Lincoln Youth – Community Celebration

A message from the Coalition for Auburn and Lincoln Youth (CALY):

Save the Date 10_20_2015Dear Friends and Partners of the Coalition for Auburn and Lincoln Youth (CALY),

Please join us on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 beginning at 10:00am for an exciting year-end celebration meeting. Thank you to the General Gomez Arts and Events Center for hosting this spectacular meeting. We will have a lengthy, but exciting agenda – coming soon – for this meeting including a community assessment overview, the long-awaited reveal of the youth Video Project, as well as formal introductions to Leadership and Advisory Team members both returning and new.

Lunch will be provided and we will have the opportunity to celebrate with honors and awards, some of the individuals and/or organizations who have applied such diligent efforts over the short time to motivate and support the work of the CALY Coalition.

Attached is a flyer for the upcoming October 20th meeting that we hope you will share with as many community members as possible who are passionate about prevention efforts in the Auburn and Lincoln communities.

Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Location: General Gomez Arts and Events Center – 808 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603

Please RSVP to or call 530-273-9541 ext. 226

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Parent U Annual Workshop event – Powered Up Parenting

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Parent U offers free workshops for parents of middle and high school age students filled with inspiration, learning, and resource building geared for parents who want to intentionally raise their children for success. Workshops are designed to empower parents of middle and high school age students with information, skills and resources.

View or Download the New 2015 Parent Toolkit HERE

Watch the workshops on HERE

Click HERE to Register


Parent U is a collaborative effort in the community to provide workshops designed to empower parents of middle and high school age students with information, skills and resources.

*Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by Grant # 5H79SP020679-02 from ONDCP and SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Office of National Drug Control Policy or the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

These videos are a great resource for parents who were unable to attend the event. Along with the Parent Toolkit, these videos provide information and tips from professionals in the field. Please enjoy these video segments provided courtesy of Mountain Event Productions.

Watch MORE workshops HERE

parent U Technology from mountain event on Vimeo.

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THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE – Free showings September 10th and 11th, 2015

THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE is a feature documentary film about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Deeply entrenched social stigma and discrimination have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The vacuum created by this silence has been filled by sensational mass media depictions of people in active addiction that continue to perpetuate a lurid public fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition.AP feature 2015Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, courageous addiction recovery advocates are starting to come out of the shadows to tell their true stories. The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of the leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement is fueling a changing conversation that aims to transform public opinion, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting recovery solutions.

Community Recovery Resources (CoRR), CoRR Alumni, and Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County work together to bring this FREE event back to Nevada County. For more information, please call 530-273-9541 ext 226

WHEN: Thursday, September 10, 2015
TIME: Doors open at 5:00pm. Film starts at 6:00pm
WHERE: CoRR Campus ~ Grass Valley | 180 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley (corner of Sierra College and East Main) | Call Melissa for more information 530-273-9541

RSVP early to reserve a seat Tel: 530-273-9541 ext. 226

Follow this event on Facebook

Also showing Friday, September 11th, 2015 at the State Theatre in Auburn, CA

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Recovery & Wellness Series – Drug Testing for Safer Communities – July 9

Learn how CoRR partners with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics to bring quality, rapid testing to Nevada County. This evening will cover the latest and greatest, trends in substances of abuse, and how testing works to support individual and public health and safety.

Dr. Leo Kadehjian, Palo Alto, California With Siemen’s Healthcare Diagnostics

Dr. Kadehjian is an independent biomedical consultant in Palo Alto, California, primarily lecturing and writing on the clinical, scientific, regulatory, and legal issues in drugs of abuse testing.  He has provided consulting services for a wide variety of both private and public sector drug programs.  Clients have included IBM, Exxon International, Texaco, General Motors, Amtrak, Pfizer, Air New Zealand, Syntex, Siemens/Syva, the U.S. Federal Courts, and numerous state corrections agencies and local drug courts.  He has special experience with on-site testing programs and provides oversight of the U.S. Federal Courts’ on-site drug testing programs.  An internationally recognized speaker, he has earned an Outstanding Speaker recognition from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry and has provided expert testimony in court and labor arbitration.  He has also provided judicial education including nationally broadcast live satellite television seminars for the Federal Judicial Center and serving on the faculty of the National Judicial College lecturing on the neurobiology of addiction and drug testing issues.  He has also conducted workshops for occupational physicians and other clinical providers.  He is a member of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, the California Association of Toxicologists, the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, the American Chemical Society and the Society of Hair Testing.

Born and raised in Boston, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Organic Chemistry from M.I.T. in 1972 after initial studies at Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University in 1977.  After several years of bio-organic and toxicological research, he served as Manager of International Medical Affairs for Syva.  In that position, he lectured extensively around the world.  Since then he has established his own biomedical consulting business with private and public sector clients worldwide.

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The Campus
180 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Space is limited so please RSVP right away to reserve your seat.

Continuing Education Credits now available for the upcoming Recovery & Wellness Series:

Community Recovery Resources is approved to provide two (2.0) continuing education units (CEU’s): Prescription Drugs: Questions & Trends
BBS #PCE2459
CCAPP #5-01-456-0217.

July 9th, 2015
5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Campus
180 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Download Flyer HERE

CoRR, the CoRR Alumni Association and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County are pleased to present a one-of a kind FREE community Recovery & Wellness Series, formerly known as the Recovery Enrichment Series. The focus of this bi-monthly series is to provide FREE education, information, and life enrichment for our amazing community.

These events are absolutely FREE to attend and open to anyone who would like to attend. Space is limited so please RSVP right away to reserve your seat ~ Melissa Kelley 530-273-9541 ext. 226; email – – Online RSVP form BELOW

Recovery & Wellness Series RSVP

Please join us for the Recovery & Wellness Series.

July 10: Meeting with Drug Court Professionals, Law Enforcement, and Behavioral Health regarding drug testing, pplication, practives, and drug-free workplace policy. Please contact Melissa Kelley to RSVP to this meeting.

Court Rules Employees Can be Dismissed if They Use Marijuana Off the Job


Marijuana and a gavel together for many legal concepts on the drug.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that employees in the state can be fired for using marijuana off the job. The case involved a paralyzed customer service worker who uses medical marijuana to help treat painful spasms resulting from a car accident, The New York Times reports.

The case has been closely followed by employers and marijuana advocates. A growing number of states are approving medical or recreational use of marijuana, but the drug remains illegal under federal law, the article notes.

“Employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute,” Justice Allison H. Eid wrote in the court’s unanimous decision.

The lawsuit was brought by Brandon Coats, who was fired by Dish Network after testing positive for marijuana. Coats has a state-issued medical marijuana license. He said he never used marijuana on the job, and argued Dish Network’s policy violated a state law that bans companies from firing employees for off-duty, lawful activities.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruling upheld two lower-court decisions. In 2013, an appellate court in Colorado ruled employees can be fired for testing positive for marijuana. Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000, and passed a law legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012. The appellate court ruling affirmed a lower court decision that marijuana use does not qualify as lawful because it is still illegal under federal law.

“The federal government has in many ways the last say,” Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver who studies legal issues surrounding marijuana, told the newspaper. “As long as that federal prohibition is in place, the states can only do so much.”

Recovery & Wellness Series – Prescription Drugs: Questions & Trends – May 21st

Dr. Christina Lasich, Medical Director and Bob Meier, KMart Pharmacist together with Community Recovery Resources and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County present Prescription Drugs: Questions & Trends Featuring Recovery Guest Speaker, Jason Smith.

Dr. Christina Lasich, Medical Director for CoRR will be addressing Cross Addiction: Prescription Medications that can Derail Recovery. Special Guest Speaker, Jason Smith will be sharing his life experience and story of impact.  Then, to close out the Recovery & Wellness Series: Bob Meier, KMart Pharmacist will discuss the ways that pharmacies like Kmart are helping to prevent prescription drug abuse.

Come early! Guest Speaker and Local Author, Jason Smith, will have his novel “The Bitter Taste of Dying” available for sale and autograph before and after the presentation. Jason will donate  a percentage of the sales proceeds to the CoRR Alumni Association.

The Bitter Taste of Dying paints a portrait of the modern day drug addict with clarity and refreshing honesty. With a gritty mixture of self-deprecation and light-hearted confessional, Smith’s memoir deftly describes the journey into the harrowing depths of addiction and demonstrates the experience of finally being released from it. Pre-order your copy today at


The Campus
180 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945


Space is limited so please RSVP right away to reserve your seat.

Continuing Education Credits now available for the upcoming Recovery & Wellness Series:

Community Recovery Resources is approved to provide two (2.0) continuing education units (CEU’s): Prescription Drugs: Questions & Trends
BBS #PCE2459
CAADAC #5-01-456-0215.

May 21st, 2015
5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Campus
180 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945
CoRR, the CoRR Alumni Association and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County are pleased to present a one-of a kind FREE community Recovery & Wellness Series, formerly known as the Recovery Enrichment Series. The focus of this bi-monthly series is to provide FREE education, information, and life enrichment for our amazing community.These events are absolutely FREE to attend and open to anyone who would like to attend. Space is limited so please RSVP right away to reserve your seat ~ Melissa Kelley 530-273-9541 ext. 226; email – – Online RSVP form BELOW

Download Flyer HERE

Recovery & Wellness Series RSVP

Please join us for the Recovery & Wellness Series.

The Outreach Team joins up with YOUTH Tobacco Coalition at Seven Hills Middle School

Did you know… E-cigs and vaporizers that contain nicotine are addictive. Just like regular cigarettes are?  Well, students at Seven Hills Middle School in Nevada City definitely didn’t. You may be asking how we could know this… because we asked them. In a short three-question survey taken by 5-8th graders at Seven Hills, we learned that the majority of students believed the e-cigarettes posed little or no harm and tobacco cigarettes posed great harm. To meet this misperception and provide the most information we could, The Outreach Team joined up with the YOUTH (Youth Opposing the Use of Tobacco for Health) Coalition for the presentation of a lifetime. The presentation was on Friday, February 27th with a 7th and 8th grade assembly first thing in the morning and a 5th and 6th grade presentation directly following.

Just the facts…

With young developing minds as our audience, we had to make sure we provided accurate and scientifically supported information which is no easy feat. After months of preparation, research, and team effort, we were thrilled that we were able to provide a comprehensive presentation and, hopefully, dispel some misperceptions about use for our future leaders.  Like any step-by-step process, we had to take ours as well…
TheOutreachTeam - Article

  • First, we ironed out the details of an incredible fact-discovering performance where the students learned that toluene, acetaldehyde, benzenene, cadmium, formaldehyde, isoprene, nickel, lead, nicotine, n-nitrosonornicotine are just some of the chemicals found in e-cig vapor. If some of these chemicals sound familiar, it’s probably because they are also on California’s Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. But wait…that’s not what the ads say. That’s right! The message these students were getting from a variety of sources was that e-cigs are relatively harmless
  • Our next step… involve the students of course. Who knows more about being a student than the students who actually attend the school every day? With the support of Principal, David Figuly and Leadership teacher Brian Ellis, we were able to spend several days working with the students involved in Leadership at Seven Hills. They shared with us some of the pressing issues happening in their school such as bullying, interpersonal relationship issues, substance use and gossip. Then, they helped our Team refine some participation areas for both the assembly and ongoing Outreach activities.
  • Presenting the info… Strategically placed throughout the floor seating arrangement were seven of the Leadership participants with fact sheets about marijuana and tobacco smoking while several others helped and passed out flyers about the upcoming Outreach Team visit on March 9th. The high-energy Did you know? activity got the crowd busy with knowledge of the various facts about smoking. Did you know Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals – There are 33 cancer-causing chemicals contained in marijuana. Following the high energy introduction of the Team, was a showing of The Other Side, a roughly 20-minute documentary by high school students promoting healthy choices through healthy lifestyles. The closing of the assembly was a line of youth role models from Seven Hills speaking up about why they choose not to use and how they choose to promote their healthy lifestyle. One student spoke out saying she chose not to use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs because they would take away from her dreams and future goals.
  • Feedback…One sixth grader said she learned a few really important lessons from the presentation, “I learned that, even though there isn’t always nicotine in the vapor pens, there are a lot of other toxic chemicals”. She also told us that she was surprised to learn that 90% of addiction begins in adolescence.

Who are we anyway?

The YOUTH Coalition, comprised of first-year Sierra College students, Sierra Dallugge , Astha Adhikari and Xin  Yu, presented an informative presentation on e-cigs and tobacco addressing the inherent risks of inhaling any chemical into the lungs and the youth-targeted messaging that “Big Tobacco” uses to promote products.

The Outreach Team, including Shasta Spencer, Youth Outreach Coordinator for CDFNC – Union Hill, Lyman Gilmore, Ready Springs, and Pleasant Valley; Michael Boyd, Senior at Ghidotti and Outreach Team member- Seven Hills and Clear Creek; Lindsay Betz, Outreach Team member – Clear Creek, Union Hill, and Lyman Gilmore; and Melissa Kelley, Prevention Advocate, Outreach Team member – Seven Hills and Magnolia; promoted the work of the Leadership students with the interactive Did you know? session.

So…what do we do?

Beginning in October 2014, The Outreach Team began hosting monthly activities at the school to promote the poster messages all over campus. Here’s what we’ve learned through a variety of self-reporting, conversations, and outreach …Most kids choose NOT to use alcohol and other drugs. In fact, MOST youth say they want to be a positive role model for people around them. So where does this misperception that “everyone” does it come from? We know that our culture is incredibly diverse when it comes to ideas and beliefs around what is acceptable use of any substance whether it’s tobacco, alcohol, or any other addictive substance. Drug prevention education through the use of positive community norms seeks to shift the perception that everyone is doing it and focus on the positive choices our youth are making.

Did you know…Various studies suggest the vapors from e-cigarettes contain several cancer-causing substances, as well as incredibly tiny particles of tin, chromium, nickel and other heavy metals, which, in large enough concentrations, can damage the lungs.

Want to get in touch with us? Want to get involved? Want to learn more?


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The Outreach Team
180 Sierra College Drive
Grass Valley, CA 95945


Athlete Committed launches in Nevada County

Brian ScienceWhat a great way to start 2015 with the launch of Athletes Committed! Early on the morning of January 27th, the day began with an outstanding presentation at Nevada Union High School by John Underwood, an Olympic Trainer, Founder of Life of an Athlete, and Director of American Athletic Institute.  More than 500 Nevada Joint Union High School District (NJUHSD) staff, board members, middle school principals and coaches, county health professionals and other community members learned about the compelling science and research that shows how alcohol and other drugs, sleep and nutrition affect academic and athletic performance.

It’s a way to give kids, at a very impressionable time in their lives, the best information to make the best decisions on how they’re going to live their lives in a healthy way.” John Underwood

John  and his team of four, including two former Navy SEALS Jason Larson and Anthony Page, and Danelle Campbell of Butte County Behavioral Health facilitated training and activities for staff, students and parents at both Nevada Union and Bear River high schools.

The afternoon Super Clinic sessions consisted of break out sessions for coaches and athletes. Coaches learned the principals of the Athletes Committed Model and strategies to implement by weaving into their team culture, commitment and skill building. Student Athletes teamed up with the SEALS for lessons in teamwork.

“We have been working on initiatives that focus on character building and leadership skills for our student athletes. Athletes Committed is an important next step.”  Jeff Dellis, Nevada Union Athletic Director

Sleep Stress Soccial DrugsBoth Nevada Union and Bear River High Schools had great participation in the evening Code Night sessions. It was incredible to see the turnout of more than 900 parents, student athletes and coaches, athletic directors and other school administration. John Underwood delivered his compelling presentation on the science and research on chemical health, sleep, nutrition, and how each of these play a huge role in students athletic and academic success.

During the parent break out session, parents signed on with a formal commitment of their own… by signing the Parent Committed Pledge, parents agree to give clear and consistent messages urging young people not to drink! The greatest influence on a young person’s decision to drink alcohol is the world they live in. The #1 protective factor against youth alcohol use is a strong parent-child relationship – a PARENT COMMITTED.

“Thank you for bringing John and his team to our school! The way he presents this information is phenomenal! My husband and I were inspired and my son actually gets it” Parent from Bear River High School

What is Athletes Committed?

The Athlete Committed campaign is about providing support to athletes, coaches and parents. This campaign urges athletes to renew their commitment to excellence! This is a commitment of personal responsibility, shared expectations and collective responsibility… to never lose their focus and never compromise on their values. The simple truth is that athletes have the power to greatly influence their performance by making better life choices about nutrition, sleep, alcohol and drugs. Being an Athlete Committed means you are focused on being your best–in sports and in life.

Image from slidesBuilding on the model program Life of an Athlete, pioneered by John Underwood, Athlete Committed focuses on creating athlete, parent and coach commitments to create positive, supporting environments free of substance use, bullying and harassment and It not only focuses on individual accountability, it incorporates principals to address “bystander” behaviors. The key components of Athlete Committed include:

Code of Conduct:  Bringing life to a piece of paper. Reportedly, 65% of student athletes use alcohol, yet every school year student athletes sign a code of conduct that prohibits that use. Our district has a comprehensive code that includes character based expectations of student athletes, as well as clear consequences for any code violation.

Mandatory Parent/Athlete Code Meeting:  All athletes along with their parent/guardian are required to attend the mandatory “code night” presentation.  This ensures that all parents and athletes are well informed of the Code of Conduct, educated on critical areas such as chemical health (substance use), bullying/harassment, nutrition, sleep and training/recovery.  This mandatory meeting is critical to the success of the program – providing the opportunity to train parents/guardians alongside their son/daughter.

Team Leaders:  Identified team leaders help to ensure that teammates hold each other accountable to team expectation and goals.  This includes choosing and building strong team leaders and creating a culture of high expectation among teammates.

Supportive Coaches:  Coaches and administrators have an important role to play in dealing with substance abuse among their athletes.  Athlete Committed coaches training helps to support coaches in the successful implementation of the model and in creating a team of excellence.

District Superintendent, Dr. Louise Johnson dedicated time during the staff professional development day to the Athletes Committed training facilitated by John Underwood. More than 500 NJUHSD staff and board members,

Why Athletes Committed?

Athletes remain one of the highest “at risk” groups for substance use and misuse. Nevada Union and Bear River high school athletes report the 65% of the athletes in their school use alcohol or other drugs, and 14% report parents and guardians are willing to host parties that include alcohol or other drugs.

Call to Action:

We all can do our part as a COMMUNITY COMMITTED TO OUR YOUTH. There are many opportunities for community involvement. For more resources and information about ways you can support Coaches will need to enlist and educate a number of stakeholders from the community in order for the Athletes Committed program to be successful. These include parents, teachers, the media, local organizations, area businesses and county government representatives. With assistance of members of the community, the Athletes Committed program can grow and thrive; bettering the lives of children and teens who are our future leaders.

Here are some ways you can get involved and help right now:

Download the Sleep Manual, and Power Back Diet so you can share with young people in your life.

Sponsor one of the student athlete leaders to attend the Life of an Athlete Leadership Training this summer at the US Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid New York. Contact Shelley if you can help.

For more information visit NCCOMMITTED.US.

Athlete Committed program helps student athletes make healthy choices

Article by The Union News:  Photos 

Nevada Union Athletic Director Jeff Dellis said that although the results of the survey were on par with results of similar surveys at other area high schools, they did raise issues the school wanted to address.

On Tuesday, athletic coaches and other staff at Nevada Union High School spent time doing just that, learning how to design and implement Athlete Committed — a program to encourage student-athletes to avoid drugs and alcohol and adopt an overall healthy lifestyle.

The movement is part of the larger Life of an Athlete program developed 16 years ago by John Underwood, a former NCAA All-American, international-level distance runner and World Masters champion who has trained or advised more than two dozen Olympians.

The program emphasizes research about the effects of drugs and alcohol on athletic performance, but it’s also designed to give coaches, student-athletes and parents a playbook for implementing a healthier lifestyle — from getting adequate sleep to eating right to understanding how to help the body recover properly from training.

“It’s a way to give kids, at a very impressionable time in their lives, the best information to make the best decisions on how they’re going to live their lives in a healthy way.”
John Underwood
Life of an Athlete program

“It’s a way to give kids, at a very impressionable time in their lives, the best information to make the best decisions on how they’re going to live their lives in a healthy way,” Underwood said.

Underwood’s two-day visit to Nevada County — he will replicate Tuesday’s day-long workshop at Bear River High School today — was put together by Dellis and Van Park, Bear River’s athletic director, who were asked by Nevada Joint Union High School District Superintendent Louise Johnson to research trainings to help staff develop student-athletes’ character and leadership potential.

The training was underwritten by Community Recovery Resources, which used about $12,000 in grant funds from the Drug Free Communities Support Program administered through the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration, said Shelley Rogers, the organization’s prevention program coordinator.

During Tuesday’s training, Underwood presented research on sleep, nutrition and other topics to school coaches and staff members.

He was joined by two former Navy SEALS who work with the program; the trio conducted clinics for coaches and about 100 student-athletes, demonstrating how to construct workouts and focusing on team-building exercises.

On Tuesday evening, Underwood gave a short presentation to parents, who joined athletes and coaches in setting goals and priorities for their sports season.

Sara Freitas, a cross-country and assistant track coach at the school, watched as student-athletes participated in a workout. She said she thought providing athletes with more information on creating a healthy lifestyle was a positive thing — and even more critical because it’s not always something they learn at home or are taught in school health classes.

“We have an obligation to get this information to them,” Freitas said. “It can make a huge difference in their lives, for the rest of their lives.”

Sophomore student-athlete Taylor Johnson said that although there is drug and alcohol use among student athletes at the school, she generally feels like she and her teammates on the volleyball and track teams strive to take care of themselves and their bodies.

“I’d rather focus on being healthy and making the right choices,” Johnson said. “It helps you in the long run.”

Dellis is hoping that athletes like Johnson will become examples for their peers — and the rest of the student body.

He said the school has been working on initiatives to help athletes build their leadership skills, including requiring student-athletes to volunteer with different community service organizations.

He said that all student-athletes and parents are required to sign a nine-page code of conduct at the start of the sport season, a contract outlining behavior expectations.

The Athlete Committed program is designed to enhance that student code, Dellis said.

“Athlete Committed is the next step,” Dellis said. “It gives it grit, gives it a blueprint of the direction we want to head.”

The details of what that blueprint looks like, however, is open to the school’s interpretation.

Underwood’s training session provides schools with resources — including research, information about revising or strengthening an athlete code of conduct, training plans and tips and guidelines for facilitating parent involvement and student trainings — but leaves it up to individual schools to adapt those ideas to their own student body.

Dellis said the school doesn’t yet have a solid plan for incorporating elements of the Athlete Committed program into its athletic department. He said they are planning to post information from Underwood’s training session on the school’s website and the athletic department will model its spring sports meetings on some of the guidelines from the program.

The idea is to involve athletes, parents and school staff to create culture change within the school — something Underwood said is crucial for the program’s success.

“The community’s got to come together to help young people make the best choices so they can be the most productive, be functional and have the most possibilities,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email or call 530-477-4230.