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Millcreek Journal

Skyline student wins scholarship to help promote community well-being

Dec 09, 2021 03:21PM ● By Bridget Raymundo

Scholarship students and state leaders in past CADCA forum years. (Photo Salt Lake County Health Department)

By Bridget Raymundo | [email protected]

This year, Utah’s Department of Human Services and Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) awarded a Skyline High School student a full scholarship to join the CADCA summit in Washington, D.C. 

CADCA stands for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. The mission of CADCA since 1992 is to help communities achieve social change for drug addiction prevention through their international outreach and initiative. The Salt Lake County Health Department began to send youth to the annual forum in 2017. 

In addition to the yearly CADCA forum, Utah has established both the National Coalition Training Academy and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s 360 to combat substance use and abuse with CADCA. The Salt Lake County Health Department reached out to the Salt Lake Teen Health Advisory Board for help to contact the youth population. The Teen Board created content and assisted with other materials to allow a greater population of teens access to this unique opportunity. The scholarship provided will support the scholarship students in their mission to both share their message about health areas in need of improvement and learn about how to promote substance control. 

Scholarship winner Carridee Raymundo, 14, is a student at Skyline High School and is excited to represent her state at the upcoming summit along with a diversity of other students. “To me, CADCA is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join with a group of people I am very lucky to meet,” Carridee said.

State representatives and youth gather to advocate and discuss topics which greatly impact the well-being of all. Numerous groups of young leaders from across the U.S. will meet and learn from one another about how to promote a healthier public.

"The Salt Lake County Health Department values providing this experience to youth, as in our experience we have had youth come back feeling empowered to actively create positive change in their community," said Julia Glade, the Health Communities coordinator.

The young activists have independently taken on significant projects that speak to their passions, some of which Glade mentions. "We have had some youth change and update city ordinances to ban vaping and use of tobacco products in their community parks. We have had youth start youth coalitions. We have had youth speak to leaders about their experiences with immigration and how that conversation at the leadership level needs to change. We have had youth from this experience step into leadership roles in their community and lead other youth groups. And we have had youth educate their peers and community about topics that they care about most," Glade said.

The CADCA scholarship experience supports youth who choose to share their voice, and, "that is something that the Salt Lake County Health Department values and will continue to value," Glade said.