June/July 2015 Newsletter


June/July 2015 Newsletter


Angelina College students and Youth Leadership Council members joined together in support of creating positive community change.
Angelina College students and Youth Leadership Council members joined together in support of creating positive community change.

Lufkin Youth Spread Awareness of Underage Drinking through Social Media

Kudos to Hayley McKnight, Jasmine Pitones and Sarah Holcombe, of Lufkin, who, as part of their Youth Leadership Council (YLC) service project, worked together to engage their local community about the prevention of underage drinking through social media.

The project had two goals. The first goal was to encourage people to follow Texans Standing Tall's Youth Leadership Council on Twitter using the YLC hashtag (#YLCEngage). The second goal was to create community awareness. To reach their goals, the trio asked Angelina College students in Lufkin to pose for a photo and retweet an underage drinking prevention message to their families, friends and community contacts, reaching hundreds of people. The college students were also given the option of posting the photo to their own personal Twitter account using the YLC hashtag.

In addition to their social media efforts, Hayley, Jasmine and Sarah passed out flyers of information about the possible health and safety consequences of underage alcohol use.


Youth Leadership Council Members for New Term

Texans Standing Tall is currently accepting applications for its Youth Leadership Council (YLC) for 2015-2016. We are seeking youth community leaders who are goal oriented, self-motivated, ready to learn and dedicated to being alcohol, tobacco and drug free. Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 20 to apply. Selected individuals will serve through September 2016. Youth who are passionate about making a positive difference in their communities are encouraged to apply.

Interested? Submit an application to www.surveymonkey.com/r/apply-TST-YLC by Sept. 18. Additional information is available by contacting Georgia Marks via gmarks@TexansStandingTall.org or by calling 512-442-7501.



"Restricting Alcohol Outlet Density: From Theory
to Practice"

Thursday, July 23
1 - 2:15 p.m. (central time)

Mark your calendar and join the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) national Town Hall Meeting for a free webinar featuring guest speakers
Michael Sparks, M.A., president of SparksInitiatives, and Nicole Carritt, executive director of Project Extra Mile.

Learn from these two experts about the impact that high concentrations of alcohol retail establishments have on community health, evidence-based practices to control the density of these establishments, and measures that communities can take to reduce the negative impact of existing outlets. Also, hear how people in Omaha, Neb. applied grassroots community work to establish and enforce restrictions in their city.

SAMHSA sponsors the Town Hall Meetings every two years to educate and mobilize communities about underage drinking and its prevention.

For additional information or to register click here.

Contribute to the success of the YLC.


Contact Us

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Youth Leaders Go Fishing to Hook New Members During Weekend Leadership Training

Taryn Quinn, of Austin, and Karla Carrillo, of El Paso, hold up their catch as they "go fishing" for new YLC "techie" members.
Taryn Quinn, of Austin, and Karla Carrillo, of El Paso, hold up their catch as they "go fishing" for new YLC "techie" members.

The direction from Nigel Wrangham, a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Prevention Specialist, at the University of Oregon, was simple: "Go fishing," he said, to members of Texans Standing Tall Youth Leadership Council (YLC) who gathered recently for a three-day capacity building workshop held at Slumber Falls Camp in New Braunfels. During a recruitment exercise, Wrangham handed out five pieces of paper with a fish drawn on it representing a particular group of youth. He then instructed the students to work in pairs to come up with viable strategies that would entice and encourage that particular group to want to join YLC. The five categories included athletes, alternatives, techies, non-English speaking students and cool kids.

Leaving a legacy, being part of a team and living a healthy lifestyle were all strategies recommended by Sarah Holcombe to recruit athletes. "As an athlete you can leave a legacy in YLC," she said. "You can end up making a difference in your community."

The list of strategies to recruit non-English speaking students included using a translator, speaking their language, making them comfortable in their own surroundings and making Spanish more accessible.

After each group shared their list with the others, Wrangham praised them for going straight to the heart of the issue. "You are miles ahead in your thinking," he told them. "Your solutions and strategies went beyond the basics and you targeted what really mattered and that was the people component."

During the weekend training the students also learned civic engagement skills, the difference between advocacy versus lobbying, how to improve their leadership abilities and then started to brainstorm ideas for their 2015 Statewide Summit presentation.

Composed of high school and college students ages
16-20 from across the state of Texas, the YLC works to reduce underage alcohol use in their communities and across Texas.



New App Assists Parents with Talking to Teens about Underage Drinking

It is usually in one ear and out the other when parents talk to teens about underage drinking. But now, parents, with the help of a new app rolled out this month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will have the opportunity to practice what they want to preach and strengthen their delivery method simultaneously.

The free app titled "Talk. They Hear You." features interactive simulation to help parents rehearse bringing up the topic and learn the right questions to ask. There are also plenty of tips and ideas for keeping the conversation going.

The app was introduced by SAMHSA as part of their Underage Drinking Prevention National Media Campaign because of increased risk for underage drinking during the summer months of June and July. Not only does the app prepare parents and caregivers for a conversation with teens, it is also aimed to reduce underage drinking among youth ages 9 to 15.

The app is available for downloading through the App StoreSM, Google Play™, the Windows® Store and Windows®Phone Store.



TST Welcomes New Staff Members

Texans Standing Tall extends a warm welcome to our new staff members including Brian Lemons, Georgia Marks, Bibi Yasmin Moghani, Atalie Nitibhon, Steve Ross and Glory Spies. To read a complete bio of all of our new staff members click here.

Brian Lemons Field Operations Specialist
Brian Lemons
Field Operations Specialist
Georgia Marks Youth Leadership Council Coordinator
Georgia Marks
Youth Leadership Council Coordinator
Bibi Yasmin Moghani, MEd Zero Alcohol for Youth Program Coordinator
Bibi Yasmin Moghani, MEd
Zero Alcohol
for Youth Program Coordinator
Atalie Nitibhon, MPAff, MHS Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst
Atalie Nitibhon, MPAff, MHS
Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst
Steve Ross Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalitions Program Coordinator
Steve Ross
Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalitions Program Coordinator
Glory Spies Senior Communications Specialist
Glory Spies
Senior Communications Specialist



Thank you for Standing Tall with us!logo_200


SEPTEMBER 2-3, 2015

at Seton Healthcare Family Administrative Offices
St. Vincent de Paul Auditorium - 1st Floor
1345 Philomena St., Austin TX

During our two-day summit learn how together we can
create healthier and safer communities.

  • Learn effective steps for statewide community action.
  • Hear national and state experts in the fields of underage alcohol use and tobacco prevention.
  • Engage in conversations and discussions, create solutions and learn what you can do to guide your community to action!

For information about exhibitor space, logistics and to register
for our 2015 Statewide Summit click here.

Fees and Accommodations:

  • Early Bird registration rate is $100 per person before Aug. 11; after Aug. 11 fee     is $115 person.
  • A first-come-first-served block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Midtown,  6000 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78752
  • Room Rates Per Night: Single or Double Occupancy: $126 + 15% (state hotel tax 6%; city occupancy tax 9%)

To make a hotel reservation: 512-451-5757 or 888-300-6273
Refer to group code: "Texans Standing Tall" or "TST"

Expires: Group Lodging Rate Expires August 11, 2015.