To Advance President Biden’s Unity Agenda Strategy to Beat the Overdose Epidemic, White House Awards Local New Jersey Community Coalition at National Youth Substance Use Prevention Summit
Community in Crisis receives Blue Ribbon Award for outstanding work to prevent youth substance use and ensure young people can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
[Bernardsville NJ] – On Monday, October 30, 2023, local New Jersey Community in Crisis (CiC) received a Blue Ribbon Award from the White House at the National Youth Substance Use Prevention Summit. CiC was invited to Washington, D.C. and recognized for their outstanding work to prevent youth substance use and ensure young people can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
“Drug-Free Community Coalitions are an essential part of our whole-of-society efforts to address the overdose epidemic and save lives,” said White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta. “The Biden-Harris Administration has made supporting the nation’s youth and their well-being a top priority, and made historic investments to strengthen substance use prevention. I am grateful to the Blue Ribbon Coalitions awardees, like Community in Crisis, who are leading the way in expanding critical evidence-based prevention efforts and addressing youth substance use so that all young Americans can live healthy and fulfilling lives.”
CiC founder, Jody D’Agostini, and Consulting Director, Toni Knoll, were recognized for their outstanding work in prevention and early action to ensure young people can lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Fiona Vitali of Bernardsville High School (BHS) also attended the Summit. She is a BHS junior who has a lead role in the CiC Youth Leadership Council. She was one of only four youths across the nation asked to participate in a panel discussion with Dr. Gupta, the Director of ONDCP. Fiona discussed the importance of youth substance use prevention, why she chose to become involved with CiC, the impact in her community, and her hopes for the future.
CiC was one of 15 Drug-Free Community Coalitions from across the country receiving a Blue Ribbon Award. The Blue Ribbon Coalition Award recognizes high performing coalitions that do an exceptional job creating a foundation for their work by updating and utilizing their coalition products. It is a two-year recognition that opens new doors for coalitions to share their work and become a role model in the prevention field.
More on the White House Youth Substance Use Prevention Summit
The Biden-Harris Administration has made supporting our nation’s young people a top priority, and has made historic investments over the past two years to strengthen local youth prevention and awareness campaigns across the country.
In recognition of National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month, the White House hosted a bipartisan summit to bring together youth leaders, community-based coalitions, and federal partners to discuss efforts to expand evidence-based prevention and ensure local communities have the tools and resources they need to prevent youth substance use and save lives. President Biden declared October as National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month to recommit to providing families, educators, and communities with access to lifesaving resources so that we can ensure that young people have the tools they need to thrive.
Read more about the White House Summit on National Youth Substance Use Prevention HERE.
Read President Biden’s full proclamation on National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month HERE.
More on Drug-Free Community Coalitions
The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by ONDCP in partnership with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the DFC Program provides grants to community-based coalitions to address youth substance use and support President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy by implementing evidence-based prevention locally, and ultimately, save lives.
More on Community in Crisis
Community in Crisis began in 2013 following the overdose deaths of two young adults in the Somerset Hills community. The organization, a coalition of community agencies, organizations, schools, churches and concerned citizens, offers bi-weekly support groups for families of loved ones struggling with substance use disorder, innovative educational opportunities in the school environment, peer recovery pop-up sites throughout the county, vaping education presentations, a ‘parent university’ series, sober social events and meetings, a youth leadership council, middle school Hub Club, and more.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is a component of the Executive Office of the President and coordinates the nation’s $43 billion drug budget and federal policies, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, recovery support, and supply reduction. Dr. Rahul Gupta is the first medical doctor to serve as the Director of ONDCP.