Home / Featured / Vote For The Two Highest Priorities Facing Local Youth
Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Vote For The Two Highest Priorities Facing Local Youth

What are the two highest priorities when it comes to risk factors facing local youth?

Houghton and Keweenaw Counties Communities That Care would like the public to help answer that question.

Five risk factors were recently identified in a Youth Survey that can lead to problem behaviors such as substance use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, depression & anxiety, and violence.

CTC Executive Board Chairman John Niemela says our area youth are doing well when compared to the national averages.

However, Niemela says there are still concerns over the levels of academic failure, depression, a low commitment to school, a low perceived risk of drug use, and perceived rewards for antisocial behavior–that basically getting into trouble is cool.

Voting is open until June 25th.

The CTC will focus their efforts on the two risk factors selected as the highest priorities over the next couple of years.

The Community Assessment Report, presented this week by the Houghton Keweenaw Communities that Care at their Community Board Meeting, was sponsored by the Portage Hospital Auxiliary.

The Community Assessment Report identified 5 Risk Factors where our youth scored higher than national averages. These Risk Factors lead to problem behaviors including substance use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, violence, and depression & anxiety.

The CTC would like your help to pick the 2 top priorities you would like to see addressed to support our youth.

To view a short presentation click this link

To review the complete report, please check out this link

Finally we invite you to vote on your top 2 Risk Factors you would like the CTC to focus. Please make sure you vote before June 25, 2017.

If you would like a chance to win 1 of 2 $25 Grocery Gift Cards, please add your email address on the ballot before you submit your vote.

To Vote click on this link

If you would like to become involved with the CTC

– check out information on the 7 Work Groups

To Join – follow this link

On behalf of the Houghton Keweenaw Communities that Care, I would like to thank you for reviewing our report and voting. We welcome you to join our neighbors as we support our youth.

The System

The Communities That Care system is a way for members of a community to work together to prevent youth problem behaviors, including substance use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, depression & anxiety, and violence.

The Vision

To develop a supportive, safe community that empowers youth through education, positive relationships, healthy beliefs, and clear standards.

The Process

The assessment was completed using the Communities That Care Youth Survey and publicly available data. The Communities That Care Youth Survey was administered to 493 students in grades 8, 10 and 12 in Chassell, Houghton, Hancock and Lake Linden schools in December 2016. To get the most complete picture of our community, the Risk & Protective Factor work group also collected data from public records to measure risk factors and problem behaviors not covered by the survey.

The Results

The youth of Houghton and Keweenaw Counties are well balanced, overall.

The data revealed that young people in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties are motivated to follow society’s expectations and standards. In particular, our young people reported high levels of the protective factor “Belief in Moral Order” and “Family Attachment” and low levels of the risk factor “Rebelliousness”. These are important areas of strength on which to build to help promote well-being and protect our youth from the risk of health and behavior problems. Houghton and Keweenaw counties should work to build on these strengths while enhancing other protective factors in its prevention efforts.

While our youth have many strengths, in reviewing the data from the Communities That Care Youth Survey, they scored higher than national averages in the following risk areas:

  • Academic Failure
  • Depressive Symptoms
  • Low Commitment to School
  • Low Perceived Risk of Drug Use
  • Rewards for Antisocial Behavior

Academic failure, and importantly, the perception of academic failure.  Beginning in the late elementary grades, academic failure increases the risk of substance use and other problem behaviors.  It appears that the experience of failure, rather than any lack of ability, increases the risk of these problem behaviors, as students in Houghton and Keweenaw county self-identified academic failure at rates above the national average, yet our graduation rates are higher than the national average.

Youth who are depressed are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and are more likely to use drugs. Survey research and other studies have shown a link between depression and youth problem behaviors.

The Communities That Care Youth Survey revealed that low commitment to school is a risk factor that is elevated throughout the county. Our students reported particularly high scores in comparison with the national average for this survey. Surveys of high school seniors have shown that the use of drugs is significantly lower among students who expect to attend college than among those who do not. Factors such as liking school, spending time on homework, and perceiving the coursework as relevant are also negatively related to drug use. Those who reported positively on those factors are less likely to use drugs.

Youth who do not perceive drug use to be risky are far more likely to engage in drug use. Compared to other surveyed youth, youth in our community are less likely to believe that people risk harming themselves, either physically or in other ways, by engaging in drug use.

Youth who receive rewards for their antisocial behavior are at a higher risk for engaging in other antisocial behavior and substance use.  Compared to other youth who completed the Communities That Care Youth Survey, youth in our community are more likely to believe that antisocial behavior is seen as “cool.”

Next Steps

The Community and Community Board will be voting for 2 Priorities from the list of 5 above. The 2 risk factors selected will become the focus of the CTC, for programs offered within our local schools, until our next Youth Survey is taken and evaluated.

It takes the whole community to support our youth. What can you do?

  1. Attend the next Community Board Training session
  2. Join the Community Board and lend your voice and assistance. (Meets every 3 months)
  3. Become active with one or more Work Groups: (They usually meet monthly)
  4. Community Board Maintenance
  5. Risk and Protective Factors (Data)
  6. Resource Assessment and Evaluation
  7. Funding & Sustainability
  8. Outreach and PR
  9. Youth Involvement
  10. Suicide Prevention

Visit our website – HoughtonKeweenawCTC.com

Check Also

Houghton-Marquette, Hancock-WIC Highlight Girls Hoops Schedule Tonight – Monday Sports Wrap

Click on the highlights scores for more game details. High School In girls basketball tonight…• …