Monday, November 1, 2010

Coalition member's nephew-in-law has high hopes for Attica teen center

There are many reasons for teen drug use, and we would be hard-pressed to trace so complex a problem to just one factor.

However, many times the motivation to use is very simple: “There’s nothing else to do.”

This tends to be a problem in poorer, urban communities, but also in rural areas such as those that surround Batavia. Take Attica, for example. How often have we heard youth lament the fact that there is just “nothing to do in this town?”

The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition has, of course, worked hard to engage young people in positive activities towards which they can channel their energies and attention, and it is very important that we encourage any such effort in our region.

The reason I’m talking about this is that Attica resident Wittnes Smith, whose wife is the niece of Coalition member Mary Ellen Wilbur, is hard at work trying to get a Teen Center started in Attica. It’s called Club ALT – as in alternative (to negative behavior) – and will be open to 6th-12th-graders in Attica and all surrounding areas. This is a very ambitious project that would have something to offer just about every teen, regardless of his/her interests.

As a per Diem correspondent for The Batavian, I was recently asked to write an article on Wittnes’ efforts to raise funds for the project. I hope that we here at GCASA, and anyone else who is interested, can in some way help to support his mission.

Click here to read more about it.

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