Stay safe! #NotAMinorProblem
click here to read the law.
Summer is full of good times and we want it to stay that way! That's why our message to you is a reminder that the legal age for drinking or providing alcohol is 21. We have 15 billboards across Erie County with this message. It's important to know the law, and that if you are caught, you will be charged and prosecuted.
Stay safe! #NotAMinorProblem
click here to read the law.
Leaders In Training - LIT is a leadership and life skill development program. Each spring groups of sixth grade students from our partner schools are recruited by Prevention Specialists, teachers, counselors or administrators to become Leaders in Training. These students show leadership qualities, or posses specific qualities that are important to be a leader.
These students are then invited to participate in LIT Summer Program. This is an intense 5 week training program held at Medaille College. Curriculum includes a True Colors personality assessment, "Math for Life", English Language Arts, Home and Careers, Girls Only or Boys Only training, physical education, and career exploration. The 5 week program ends with a week of field trips.
The program started July 6 and ends August 9th. We have seen new friendships formed, confidence built, and our leaders really stepping up to the challenges they have faced in just the three weeks we have had.
WHO ARE WE....LIT!
Every year, WNY United holds the Leaders in Training (LIT) Showcase event to allow our seventh grade Leaders the opportunity to present their service learning projects to their peers, staff, associates from Rich Products and administration from Buffalo Public Schools. This year’s two day event was held at Emerson School of Hospitality and included LIT teams from Lake Shore, Cleveland Hill and Buffalo Public Schools # 18, 19, 27, 43, 67, 69, 72, 74, 80, 89, 93, and 95.
Our Leaders began each day with an exercise in creating a story board about the ‘I Choose’ campaign. ‘I Choose’ is a powerful message that lets students be creative and share what they would choose over using drugs and alcohol. Students were given all the supplies to create their boards and then a few were given the opportunity to present it to all attendees.
Next our Leaders gave their formal presentations on what service learning projects they worked on throughout the school year with their Prevention Specialists. The students made tri-fold boards to accompany their presentation. New this year a few or our schools were adopted by Rich Products Corporation and had associates who came to monthly LIT meetings and served as mentors to our LIT students.
Following the presentations our Leaders received an etiquette lesson from Nicole Castro. She is a LIT alumni from 2005 who recently graduated from Niagara University with a degree in Hospitality. Nicole taught proper place settings and which utensils to use when. She demonstrated proper napkin etiquette and gave the students helpful tips and hints about how to carry on a conversation and how to introduce oneself to the table. After the etiquette lesson the students were served a buffet meal prepared by the staff and students at Emerson.
Our Showcase event was highly successful and our LIT students did an excellent job presenting. For many, it was their first time ever speaking into a microphone and we are proud of everyone for a year full of hard work and dedication. Below is a list of all service projects completed by school.
School # 19
This year we held our 22nd Annual Leaders in Training (LIT) Graduation at Medaille College on May 25 and bid farewell to 75 graduates from 12 schools in WNY with their proud families.
Haben Berhe and Anaila Hemandez from School 18, Abby Hart from Cleveland Hill and Alysha Pinto from School 18 all shared their essays about “What Leaders In Training Has Meant to Me!” Mar’Tanay Lewis read the closing poem “Oh, The Places LIT Will Go” which adapted from the Dr. Seuss poem “Oh! The Places You’ll Go”.
Anthony Roche from School 27 and Haben Berhe from School 18 were both inducted into the LIT Hall of Fame. Aurora Vazquez and Recardo Craig were selected as the Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees for 2017.
Over the course of two years, the Leaders in Training students participate in conferences, a summer program, retreats and dozens of service learning projects, activities and small-scale fundraising at their schools and within the community. These experiences teach our children to become active agents for positive change in their schools and communities and be positive role models in substance abuse prevention efforts in their high schools.
Congratulations 2017 LIT Graduates!
On Monday, May 22 our Leaders in Training from Buffalo Public Schools #72 and #69 took a field trip to Rich Products to complete their project on Career Exploration,
Career Exploration, a topic they all wanted to learn more about, was a service project between WNY United Leaders in Training and Rich Products Associates. Every month, Jack Schuyler and Mark Notaro from Rich Products came to LIT meetings to talk about the students’ interests and how those interests connect to different careers. Each student chose a career, and with Mark’s help, they broke down what was necessary to pursue that field.
Upon arriving at Rich Products Corporation the kids toured the facility and talked with different associates including Stephen Rich the Innovation Center Chef about the company and career options. They enjoyed a delicious lunch and learned more about the company from Ann Boyd who is the Director of Component Dessert Marketing.
They ended the day with cake decorating tips from Megan Lodes who is the R&D Research Technician II. This was a fun, hands on way to learn about another career they might be interested in. The students were then all given their own cupcakes to decorate and take home.
A special thank you goes out to the Rich Products Associates who made the field trip happen, Prevention Specialist Samantha Zappala, and the staff at Buffalo Public Schools #69 and #72. It was a day the kids will never forget!
Sheriff Timothy Howard, Executive Director Beth Anzalone from WNY United, and Neil Kavanaugh President of Consumers Beverages, team up to launch "Not A Minor Problem" campaign.
Consumers Beverages, Erie County Sheriff and WNY United have partnered together to launch 'Not A Minor Problem' campaign, an initiative to help curb underage drinking in Erie County.
"The more resources and partners we have working together to create awareness and educate our community of the dangers of underage drinking, the safer we can keep our children and families," says Beth Anzalone, Executive Director of WNY United.
WNY United partners with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to carry out environmental strategies, like sticker shock. Sheriff Timothy Howard and Deputy Aaron Naegely were determined to place 5,000 stickers this past December which led the Deputy to knock on the door of Consumer’s Beverages. Neil Kavanaugh graciously opened his door and invited his team to collaborate on ideas of not only how to place these 5,000 stickers but to expand the reach of the stickers and refine the message.
“I am excited to find another partner in Consumers Beverages and its president Neil Kavanaugh, to join my office and WNY United’s campaign to educate parents, older friends and relatives about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking,” explains Sheriff Howard. “And my office is determined to arrest and charge anyone supplying alcohol to underage individuals.”
Through this initiative, Consumers Beverages will place stickers on cases of alcohol and bottleneck hangers on beverages that are appealing to youth. The campaign aims to curb purchasing alcohol for minors and to relay the risks of those who might attempt to break the law.
“We are very excited to be a part of this initiative that we feel will help benefit the community and could potentially save lives,” said Consumer’s President Neil Kavanaugh. “We take our responsibility to the community very seriously and understand the dangers of underage drinking. Our stores have, and will, strictly adhere to laws pertaining to selling to minors and those who attempt to purchase for minors. We are proud to have partnered with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and WNY United.”
“Thank you to Consumer’s Beverages, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and WNY United for their efforts to promote the ‘Not a Minor Problem’ campaign,” says Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon. “I created legislation to hold adults, that allow minors who aren’t their children to drink on their property, accountable. It is a serious issue and can have dangerous consequences. Educating our community about the consequences of underage drinking is critical, especially this time of year as teens are celebrating prom and graduation. I urge the community to support this effort and not serve minors.”
Watch the press conference below.
UPDATE: This years Red Ribbon Game has been rescheduled for May 30, 2017 due to the cancellation of the May 5th game.
Each year WNY United selects a few outstanding school and community leaders for their commitment and support of the mission, activities and programs of WNY United that are delivered to the youth in our communities.
This year, WNY United will honor eight Friends of Prevention before the Friday, May 5 Buffalo Bisons Game during the pre-game ceremonies. Following the on-field ceremonies, WNY United will host a reception at Pettibones Grille for the Friends and their families.
The game has also been designated as the “Red Ribbon Game,” celebrating over 3,000 local students’ commitments to joining Buster Bison’s “Drug Free Team.”
The following individuals are this year’s Friends of Prevention award recipients:
Nicole Bycina, Student Support Services Project Administrator for Buffalo Public Schools
Linda Dansa, Principal at Blasdell Elementary
Claudine Ewing, TV Journalist
Anna Jaremko, Project Coordinator for the Independent Health Foundation
Francine Needham, School Counselor at Buffalo Public School #18
Jack Schuyler, VP of Procurement, US-Canada Region, at Rich Products Corporation
Leona Soule, Title III & Title IV Administrative Assistant at Medaille College
Dave Brown, posthumous
The awardees will each receive a WINNY Award, representing the agency’s gratitude for the Friends’ dedication to WNY United.
Throughout Western New York families are struggling because the people they love are addicted to alcohol and other drugs. The opioid epidemic took 256 lives in 2016 and an estimated 55 in the first 40 days of 2017. Families are turning to their faith communities for help.
On Saturday, April 29, the social justice branch of the With One Voice ministry of Saint John Paul II Parish in Lakeview, will co-sponsor WNY United’s seminar: Pastoral Response II.
“Faith communities are expanding their ministries to offer comfort to those who experience loss and support to those who are battling daily for recovery,” said Sue Boyle, Community Mobilization Specialist at WNY United and organizer of the event. “Individuals from a variety of faith traditions and a variety of ministries—from pastors to doctors to church secretaries to volunteers to prayer warriors—are immersing themselves in the conversation that begins with the question, ‘How can our faith community support those who are suffering and do our part to end this epidemic?’”
The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration, coffee and snacks. Speakers include:
To register go to https://pastoralresponse2.eventbrite.com or contact Sue Boyle at SBoyle@wnyunited.org for more information.
On Friday, March 24 our Leaders In Training from Buffalo Public School #74 took a field trip to Rich Products for Healthy Grains Day.
Healthy Grains Day was the culmination of a year-long service project between WNY United Leaders and Rich Products Associates. Every month, Patty Suffoletto and Mike Rudney from Rich Products came to LIT meetings to talk about the process of growing, buying and producing products with wheat.
After arriving at Rich’s, the kids met with Chef Steve Rich to learn about innovation, the different types of pizza dough that Rich Products produces, where the product goes, and then make their own pizzas in the Innovation Kitchen.
With full bellies they toured Rich Products Corporation and indulged in F’real smoothies. They also partook in a sensory testing with a sensory analyst.
A special thank you goes out to the Rich Products Associates that made the field trip happen, Prevention Specialist Lori Brown, and the staff at BPS #74. It was an unforgettable experience for the kids!
WNY United Leaders In Training were invited to City Hall today to participate in an anti-bullying round table discussion sponsored by Mayor Byron Brown's Office in conjunction with Buffalo Public Schools.
The foundation of the event began a few months ago when our Leaders In Training filled out questionnaires discussing the bullying they see in their schools. Two Leaders from each school were then selected to participate in the field trip.
The day started with opening remarks by Mayor Byron Brown and a presentation from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children on internet safety and cyber bullying. The kids also partook in an anti-bullying exercise with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE and received more information from AT&T.
Following the presentations, the group discussed the bullying they've witnessed in their schools and broke up in to groups to come up with solutions to combat bullying. Suggestions included announcements, peer groups and random acts of kindness.
Moving forward, Buffalo Public Schools is looking to implement these recommendations put forth by the Leaders.