With 15 years of experience at Yorktown Public Library, Jenifer Moore has developed an understanding of working with youth. Those skills have prepared her for her new role: executive director of the Delaware County Prevention Council (DCPC).
The Yorktown High School and Ball State University graduate just started at this post on May 15, so for now, she’s soaking it all in.
“I’ve learned a lot in the past three weeks,” she said with a laugh, “and there’s a lot more to learn.”
Moore had heard of the DCPC through the Yorktown library’s participation in Red Ribbon Week, an annual campaign in the fall that promotes awareness and prevention of substance abuse through various events and activities. Then she came across the online announcement that the job was available after Patricia Hart, the group’s 24-year director, had retired.
With her library role being part-time and her children getting older, Moore went for the opportunity.
“I thought this might be a good time to do a career change and try something different,” she said.
Moore brings with her professional and educational experience in fields of psychology, development, social work and adult education. She has several plans for the DCPC, which include expanding the group’s reach by revamping its website and social media presence. She has already started a Twitter account and an Instagram account, and she hopes to keep the Facebook page more active.
She also wants to send out a digital newsletter regularly so local school administrations, donors, sponsors and other organizations know what’s coming up.
But maybe more than anything, Moore wants to keep promoting the group as a “good place to start” for anyone seeking drug prevention tips and resources, as well as networking and social opportunities. She plans to continue collaborating with other local organizations and keeping herself educated on new challenges ahead. She said that includes drugs and alcohol, but also new trends like vaping and e-cigarettes.
“Lots of kids right now don’t think that’s dangerous because that’s not a real cigarette, but it’s actually worse than smoking a pack of cigarettes,” Moore said. “You definitely have to move along with what the issues are and what (kids are) doing next.”
Moore currently is leading the DCPC’s work to gather sponsorships for its Red Ribbon Campaign, which will run Oct. 23-31 this year, with a kick-off breakfast on Oct. 22. The DCPC also is holding interviews for its PRIDE team, consisting of students from high schools within Delaware County who pledge to be drug-free, positive role models for the community.
DCPC also runs a “Too Good for Drugs” facilitator training, which will take place 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, at the Ball State Alumni Center. The training will certify participants to provide interactive lessons in classrooms for students from kindergarten to 8th grade, working to build their confidence to make healthy choices, resist peer pressure and be successful.
Another program run by DCPC includes the Wellness Initiative for Senior Education (WISE), which offers lessons examining health, risk factors and resources for those 55 and older.
Audrey Kirby is a reporter at the Star Press. Follow her on Twitter @ajanekirby, and email her story ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.