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Carthage Residents Help Identify Problems Youth Face - KOAM TV 7

Carthage Residents Help Identify Problems Youth Face

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CARTHAGE, MISSOURI -

The Carthage Caring Communities Coalition is a group of citizens that address the needs of youth in the community. Tonight, it hosted a forum to identify what problems key players in the community see as the most pressing.

Drugs, safety, teen suicide and violence, all issues discussed at a cartage community forum. Representatives from schools, youth serving organizations, faith based groups, parents and youth all come together to complete a survey on their smart phones.

“This directly affects everyone, the children are our future, we hear it all the time, so if we can get healthy children, we can get them what they need whether its mentally, physically, that they'll make healthy and strong adults,” says president of the coalition Jonathan Roberts.

The results will be used to help create the coalition's new action plan, the previous plan ending along with the grant that provided funding.

“To take the data that we receive and come up with a plan that we can identify the top 2 or 3 responses that our community is telling us is a concern directly in Carthage, Missouri and then coming up with programs, partnerships, funding to help key in on those areas,” says Roberts of the end goal after the forum.

Answers and discussions from the forum show that a lot of community members have concerns on teens having access to and using drugs and alcohol.

“We’re dealing with many kinds of drugs that our kids are exposed or might choose to use, tobacco alcohol. We end up with those consequences that affect everybody, the family, the student or the teenager themselves,” says Aimee Brumit with Spirit, a program that works with the Carthage School District on preventing drug and alcohol use.

And a group of youth agree, knowing first hand that many of their peers have easy access to alcohol and marijuana.

“They try to fit in, some are pressured to do it, but it’s mostly trying to be cool,” says Ana Lopez, a member of the Carthage in Action group, students who promote drug and alcohol prevention.

And with this information, community leaders will work to create programs to help youth overcome any problems they face in the community.

The coalition will be reviewing the data at their next meeting on March 8th. From there, it will decide what programs to create.

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