West Van for Youth

Highlights of the 2020-2021 year!

A Year End Report

This has been a challenging year, to say the least. This newsletter covers the highlights of projects we were able to complete in West Vancouver. Our community is resilient and has overcome many obstacles and barriers as we have navigated our work during the pandemic. We are lucky to live in a community where we have multiple individuals and organizations working hard to support youth and families, especially during difficult seasons!

Prevention Partner Award 2021

We would like to honor The Recovery Café, they are the winners of the Prevention Partner Award! The Recovery Café of Clark County has been instrumental in providing volunteers to complete projects this past year and previous years.

Thank you for your dedication to our work in West Vancouver! Your work is deeply meaningful to our community and we are grateful for your presence.


Community Survey

119 Community members surveyed. This information was collected virtually, it helps us identify community concerns, risk and protective factors and our community's perception on issues around youth substance use. This was conducted in the Fall of 2020.

Positive Community Norms Campaign

A team of Vancouver youth and adults worked diligently to create a message of hope this year. 96% of adults in our community said they, "hope youth reach out in times of need" (2018 Community Survey).

This has been a challenging year for multiple reasons, some folks have had to navigate food insecurity, mental health issues, educational challenges, social justice issues and many other things. In Vancouver, we have many organizations who are ready, trained and passionate about connecting youth and families with the resources they need to find success.

Our hope with this campaign message has been that youth would know, if they need help, we are here!!

This campaign included:

  • A billboard in Fruit Valley
  • Hope Rocks Paint Night
  • Social Media and print messaging
  • Highlighting community resources in social media
  • Summer self-care kits for Middle and High School youth

Drug Take Back

We had the opportunity to support the work of the Drug Take Back events in SW Washington. These events are important to West Van for Youth because they reduce access for youth and they also help keep our waters clean.

Learn more about the disposal of unused medications here.

Parent Education

We were able to offer 3 rounds of parent workshops, thanks to a collaboration with Unite Washougal! The developers of Guiding Good Choices and Incredible Years, supported us as we prepared to offer these workshops virtually.

Special thanks to Dama, Kimberly, Maggie, & Gloria, our facilitators, who worked hard to deliver this material and helped support families!

We were able to offer, 2 Guiding Good Choices (1 Spanish and 1 English) and 1 Incredible Years workshops!

Red Ribbon Week

Special thanks to the volunteers at The Recovery Café and The Youth House! Thank you for decorating our community for Red Ribbon Week, an annual event to celebrate our commitment to creating a more resilient community!

We were also able to offer the community the following trainings and workshops:

  • Ambiguous Loss during COVID
  • Building Resilience during COVID
  • Alcohol Literacy Training in collaboration with HBHS Health teachers and Amerigroup

Connecting Communities, Building Resilience

In partnership with our local YWCA. we were able to offer a 3-part series on the intersections of systemic racism and drug policy and how to evaluate and create equitable policies.

Content focus:

  • Session 1: An overview of oppression, specifically racism, and its connections to drug policy in particular
  • Session 2: Trauma, Sexual Violence, Substance Use as a Coping Mechanism, and Communities of Color Being Under-supported
  • Session 3: Putting It Into Practice: Best practices for embedding anti-racism policies and practices within non-profit / coalition settings

Special thank you to Jessie Spinney, who graciously led us through difficult conversations!

The Year of Virtual Training

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This has been the year of virtual trainings! Thankfully we have had the opportunity to offer many trainings to our staff and volunteers; the following is a list of the trainings attended, however this list is not exhaustive:
  • The Montana Institute
  • CADCA Bootcamp
  • National Coalition Academy
  • WA State Prevention Summit
  • Summer Coalition Leadership Institute
  • Guiding Good Choices Virtual Facilitators
  • Liberating Structures

WSU Intern

Shout out to our intern from WSUV, Amy Merfeld! We are grateful for your hard work and dedication to West Van for Youth! Amy was instrumental in planning for the Hope Rocks project and was a great asset on our team for developing the billboard message!

Coalition Meetings

We have hosted virtual meetings all year. The coordinators have worked hard to make these meetings meaningful. In addition to our monthly community meeting, we also met in workgroups, they are listed below:

  • Steering Committee
  • Positive Community Norms Workgroup
  • Red Ribbon Week Workgroup
  • Parent Education Workgroup

Reach out if you would like to get involved in our workgroups!

This has been a challenging year. We are grateful to all the community members who have faithfully attended meetings, trainings, and worked diligently to make this work happen in West Vancouver! We could not have accomplished this work without your heads, hearts and hands! We know you sacrificed to make this happen, thank you! Our community is stronger because of you!

West Van for Youth