Families Come Together to Make a Difference

— Written By

Since January 2018, North Carolina Cooperative Extension of Montgomery County has implemented the Empowering Youth and Families Program, designed to help families learn to communicate better, help youth set and identify life goals, help youth learn resistance to skills to reduce risky behaviors, and help combat the rising opioid crisis in the county, state, and nation.

Families who have completed this program report feeling more family cohesiveness and improved communication among all members. Youth report being able to see their parents’ perspectives more, and adults say they have been able to be more controlled and intentional in their responses to their children. One parent shared, “after taking this class, I walk away more… I don’t bully my kids anymore.”  A parent has also shared the program has given her child a voice to discuss issues instead of shutting down. The ability to build community relationships and have a bigger support system has also been identified as a program strength, as has helping youth to consider how their actions impact those around them. “After we took this class, my son earned the privilege of getting a pet and it has been great seeing him succeed at this new responsibility.”

Families from the second and third cohort have begun planning for a community event to help educate the public about the dangers of opioid use and deliver real-life tips and education to help parents and youth become more aware of the warning signs and danger areas. Stay tuned for more information about this important event – you will not want to miss it!

Our next EYFP series will begin in the fall, and families have already begun registering. For more information about the program, please contact Chrissy Haynes:  chrissy_haynes@ncsu.edu, Rhonda Peters:  Rhonda_Peters@ncsu.edu. or Molly Alexi:  Molly_Alexi@ncsu.edu.

For more information about this wonderful program and it’s implementation statewide, please visit the EYFP blog.