Youth have always been an element of the HCSAC, Inc. Always willing participants in HCSAC projects, youth are an invaluable resource to our community.
Since 2013, our youth have been active in the implementations of the Hamblen County Substance Abuse Coalition. They created "STOP" Student Team Organizing Prevention as they desired to have a stronger presence in the community. Members of "STOP" presented programs and testimonials at a State-wide Hispanic Youth Conference in early 2017. They created a new "social interaction for youth" called "What's Ur Why?"
The HCSAC, Inc. works with the Hamblen County Juvenile Court System, Department of Child Services probation and East Tennessee Human Resources Agency Probation offering a "building Skills" program to help build self-esteem, encourage better decision making, increase positive social skills, reduce recidivism rates among youth and improve scholastic performance and school attendance.
This program is offered free to the public and at no cost to our community or local government.
The HCSAC, in partnership with the Hamblen County School System, conducts a Partnerships for Success Student Survey every other year which is the only survey that gathers pertinent local data on substance use, community norms, student and parental attitudes surrounding alcohol, tobacco and the use of substances outside of medical use. All of this at no cost to the county.
The Building Skills Program is a curriculum for youth that is designed to enhance self-esteem, encourage healthy choices, increase self-discipline, improve social skills, discourage negative thinking and promote mutual respect. This curriculum utilizes lecture, group and individual participation, experiential activities, games, fun , laughter and real-life presentations from individuals with stories or positive encouragement from many different backgrounds. Some of these presentations include bad consequences from poor decisions and offer time for reflection of how things might have been different if better choices had been made.
Life is about making good choices. Good choices that create opportunities for better outcomes in our lives. Building skills helps young people look beyond their “temporary circumstances” and see how the choices they make now will have a positive or negative effect on their lives in the future.
This program is designed to provide truthful, honest, relevant information to our young people including information on the following topics.
Abuse and Violence
Anxiety and Stress
Depression & Suicide
Drugs & Alcohol
Gay, Lesbian, BI, & Transgender
Pregnancy & Birth Control
Your Body, Sex, and STDs
In today’s world we need small groups and our Teens need them more than most. Here at Building Skills we want to give our kids a place to go during this Pandemic and for years to come. A place where they can stay connected, get help or information, and encouragement. Due to the Covid situation, we are offering online and in-person groups for ages 12-18.
"Chains" The Music Video
The staff and youth of the HCSAC, Inc wrote and produced a music video that was written for a song, "Chains", a song about a family that has lost their father due to pill addiction. The video was completed during the summer of 2014 and was distributed to entities all across the state that work in prevention and treatment of substance abuse.
The song & video are very impactful as the story is so true to life for those that deal with substance abuse and its consequences on the family. It is anticipated that the video will receive national awards. Paul Hyde, Executive director of the HCSAC, states "I have been on line researching at least three organizations that award youth for video projects going back three years and reviewing the first, second and third place winners and with no prejudice, the project our kids are working on makes these award-winning videos look like kindergarten projects."
I am proud of the song and the actors did a bang-up job in the video scenes. Ishmael Bevilacqua, a professional movie producer from Honduras, came and directed the video overseeing all editing of the final product.