Did you know that WOC has a prevention program that encourages individuals to make low-risk choices? Our prevention specialists have made a positive difference in the lives of many people and have worked with a wide variety of organizations, from churches to middle and high schools to homeless shelters.
Today we would like to take a moment to highlight a few members of the WOC Prevention Team! Vera Harrison, Leslie Eschenbacher, and Lynn Brummell-Presley are three of the many people who have made WOC’s efforts and accomplishments related to substance abuse prevention possible!
How did you get involved with Women of Colors as a prevention specialist?
Vera Harrison: I wanted to be educated on substance abuse prevention to be able to better serve some of the parents I work with at the CAN Council. I reached out to Evelyn McGovern to see if WOC would be willing to take me under their wing.
Leslie Eschenbacher: My supervisor had been working with WOC in order to become better equipped to help the families we serve. However, I figured that because I was Caucasian, I wouldn’t be able to work with WOC to receive the education I was looking for. To my surprise, WOC agreed to supervise me. I was informed that it’s Women of Colors because all women are accepted. I thought that was amazing!
Lynn Brummell-Presley: Because I was a Licensed Clinical Family Therapist, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Certified Prevention Specialist, I was approached by Evelyn McGovern to help make a dream come true by developing the WOC Prevention Team.
What is your role within WOC’s Prevention Team?
Vera: I am involved in programs that benefit the community and educate them on making low-risk choices when it comes to alcohol and drugs.
Leslie: I am trained in the programs Prime for Life and Racial Justice and Wellness.
Lynn: I helped implement the prevention programming that provides service for youth and adults under the umbrella of WOC.
What size and type of audience is your team reaching through the programming?
Vera: We work with middle and high school students, businesses, faith-based organizations, and individuals in the juvenile justice system.
Leslie: We will train a class of two or three if they are interested and could benefit from the program. Even being able to help one person is better than helping none.
Lynn: We are now reaching thousands of viewers of all types through virtual and face-to-face programming.
What have you learned about yourself as a leader from serving your community in this capacity?
Vera: I learned that when I see an issue or concern, I will do whatever I can to help my community overcome it.
Leslie: I’ve learned that there is always more to learn. Working with WOC has opened my eyes to so many things. The trainings and experiences I’ve received will help me serve as a better leader in my community.
Lynn: I learned that I love serving and helping the people of my community.
What impact do you expect or hope to have on people who receive training from the Prevention Team? What impact do you expect or hope to have on the Saginaw community?
Vera: I hope my impact on the community and on anyone receiving training from WOC will include them making choices that will help them protect the things that they value most. Sometimes we make unhealthy choices that cause us to lose things that we value like family, friends, and employment. I want them to leave our trainings thinking about the choices they are making and questioning whether they are healthy and have their best interest at heart.
Leslie: I hope that after participants leave the trainings, they take everything they have learned and use it to benefit themselves. I hope they look for other resources that will help them become a productive part of their family and the community.
Lynn: I hope that my education, organizing, and leadership skills can be used in service to others.
WOC would like to give a heartfelt “thank you” to Vera, Leslie, Lynn, and the entire Prevention Team for their service to our organization and to the wider community: Your hard work and commitment to serving others are so very appreciated, and we look forward to continuing to support you in your personal and professional development. Keep up the amazing work!