We educate and empower our community to support youth to create a safe, healthy environment aimed at addressing alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems.
The Coalition for Drug-Free Youth (CDFY) teams with community members and organizations in the White Center/North Highline area as well as staff, students and families in the Highline School District (HSD), primarily Cascade Middle School, Evergreen High School and New Start High School in its prevention efforts. HSD also provides funding support for the Student Assistance Professional at Cascade Middle School and Evergreen High School.
Our Coalition enjoys the support and participation of numerous programs and service providers, including the Highline School District, the business community, government and law enforcement, civic and volunteer organizations such as the White Center Kiwanis, health care, media and youth-serving organizations guiding students in implementing positive norms activities on-campus and the nearby community.
Using community data and perspectives, coalition members determine the appropriate prevention strategies for their communities and ensure that these strategies are effectively implemented. The Coalition for Drug Free Youth strategic plan outlines this vision for how the funding should be used in a way that aligns with the CPWI model and is specific and targeted to the community goals and strategic plan.
In 2012, King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division awarded a Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) grant to Navos Mental Health Solutions to develop a community coalition focused on alcohol and other drug prevention in the White Center/North Highline community. This was the formation of the Coalition for Drug-Free Youth (CDFY). The partnership at Navos included a survey of local community agencies and was championed by locally-led non-profit organizations. Navos in Burien served as the Coalition’s Fiscal Agent through July 2018.
In August 2018, CDFY partner Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) assumed fiscal agent responsibilities, ensuring the continuation of the Coalition’s prevention efforts.
About Our Community
The White Center/North Highline community is a culturally diverse tapestry of refugees and immigrants, people of color, ethnicity, country of origin and spoken languages. It’s a youthful community, with more than 40% of children and teens in King County living in South King County. Common first languages spoken at home among immigrant residents include Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese and Khmer/Cambodian, those of other African and Arabic countries, and the more established Asian, Pacific Islander, African American and White populations.
The region is characterized by high levels of poverty, limited access to health care and employment opportunities, and cross-cultural differences that historically have contributed to lack of unity in the community. Other factors combine to put students at higher risk of substance use, including low attachment to community and school, lower academic achievement, and feelings of alienation, particularly among youth. Several licensed recreational marijuana stores in the area, the increased popularity of e-cigarettes, particularly vaping, and changing community norms, add to the Coalition’s prevention challenges.
Given these challenges, this community has responded by embracing its diversity, creating one of the richest and more inclusive living experiences in the region. The Coalition, one of more than 80 CPWI prevention organizations throughout the state, together with students, parents, schools and community organizations have collaborated to support a variety of youth development opportunities.
- Prevention Teams at schools
- LifeSkills training
- Project SUCCESS
- Community-building and public awareness activities
- Parenting skills programs Multi-cultural nights Community cultural festivals
- Events recognizing and celebrating our diversity and building a stronger foundation and future for our youth