The PAL Program is a site-based mentoring program that matches a Rogers County public school student with a caring adult mentor. The mentor strives to be the student’s friend, role model, motivator, and personal advocate. The mentor’s purpose is to build self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth in the student while building a friendship. Mentors are good listeners, people who care and people who want to help young people discover their strengths.
Students are typically referred to the PAL Program by their teacher or school counselor. This can be for a variety reasons. A common reason is that the student is seen as someone who could benefit from having a caring adult friend at school.
Mentors meet with their student once a week for about an hour at school during the school day, generally during one of the student’s elective classes. Meeting away from school grounds is not allowed in the PAL Program.
Mentors are asked to commit to meeting with their student for one school year. Ideally, both the mentor and mentee decide to continue meeting the following school year and the match evolves into a long-term relationship.
Program participants are surveyed at the conclusion of each school year and there are always comments such as: “I wouldn’t trade my mentor for a million dollars. She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met.” Another student wrote, “My mentor is funny, fun to be around, and understands what I am talking about. He is one of my best friends.”
“My mentor is someone that I can talk to and someone I trust. He makes me feel special. He helps me get through things,” said a Sequoyah Elementary student. An Oologah student wrote, “My mentor has really changed my attitude. I used to hate coming to school, because I didn’t feel like anyone noticed me or liked me. Since I’ve started meeting with my mentor I have enjoyed coming to school and my grades have improved.
Email our PAL Director : Roxanne Bilby
View Governor Mary Fallin’s Mentoring PSA: Here
DFC, Volunteers for Youth’s federally funded Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Project, works to reduce substance abuse among our youth, with a particular emphasis on underage drinking and prescription drug misuse. The 10-year project focus is to eliminate factors in the Oologah community that increase the risk, and promote the elements that minimize substance abuse. The youth-serving programs offered by Volunteers for Youth are an ideal setting for putting these protective factors in place and our DFC goals are interwoven throughout each of our projects. We work within the Oologah Community Coalition, a local coalition, on this project. Coalition members represent twelve sectors of the community standing in solidarity with the DFC project as we combat substance abuse issues among youth.
HLP: The TSET Healthy Living Program is a community-based grant. The HLP works to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity across Oklahoma. Work is targeted to places where it can make the most impact on our health:
-Cities and governments
-Community organizations and institutions (including faith-based, nonprofits, senior centers, child care, food banks and farmers markets)
The TSET Board of Directors awarded 50 community-based grants to organizations like Volunteers for Youth. These organizations serve 63 counties. The five-year grant cycle began July 1, 2015.
As a Healthy Living Program grantee, Volunteers for Youth works on sustainable changes to make our communities healthier. We strive to:
– Prevent and reduce tobacco use
– Increase physical activity
– Improve nutrition
If you have questions or want to partner with us please contact any of our HLP Staff : Amber Brassfield Jody Reiss Alyson Short
About PFS: The Partnership for Success grant comes from the Cherokee Nation. With these funds, PFS, addresses the significant issues surrounding prescription drugs and the effect on 12-25 year olds in Rogers County. Strategies were identified after a complete community assessment approved by Cherokee Nation and the Healthy Community Partnership. Past successes in reducing problems associated with prescription medications include working with Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics to place five drug disposal boxes in Rogers County, reducing the chance for non- medical use of narcotics. New Oklahoma legislation allows non-medical personnel, law enforcement, and family members to purchase and administer Naloxone, an overdose reversal medication, through a nasal mist. Our strategies include information and training on Naloxone to reduce the number of accidental overdoses and allow time for emergency medical interventions in these cases. For any questions please contact : Amy Graham
Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s fastest growing drug problem.
If you or a loved one need help with drug dependence or addiction, in Oklahoma, call 211 for a treatment referral near you.
Signs of prescription drug misuse/abuse:
The most commonly abused prescription drugs are:
- Opioids, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), used to treat pain
- Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), and hypnotics, such as zolpidem (Ambien), used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders
- Stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others), dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall XR) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain sleep disorder.
Opioid overdose – If you suspect an opioid overdose call 911 immediately!
Due to their effect on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, opioids in high doses can cause respiratory depression and death. An opioid overdose can be identified by a combination of three signs and symptoms referred to as the “opioid overdose triad”. The symptoms of the triad are:
- pinpoint pupils
- respiratory depression.
Combining opioids with alcohol and sedative medication increases the risk of respiratory depression and death, and combinations of opioids, alcohol and sedatives are often are often present in fatal drug overdoses.
|Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse|
|Opioid painkillers||Sedatives and anti-anxiety medications||Stimulants|
|Feeling high (euphoria)||Unsteady walking||High body temperature|
|Slowed breathing rate||Slurred speech||Insomnia|
|Drowsiness||Poor concentration||High blood pressure|
|Poor coordination||Problems with memory||Anxiety|
|Increased pain with higher doses||Slowed breathing||Paranoia|
Other signs include:
- Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- Excessive mood swings or hostility
- Increase or decrease in sleep
- Poor decision-making
- Appearing to be high, unusually energetic or revved up, or sedated
- Continually “losing” prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written
- Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor