The RCCC celebrates four years of achievement
During its annual banquet on Thursday night, as the snow and sleet fell on Hearne’s First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center, the Robertson County Community Coalition celebrated four years of successes spearheaded by RCCC’s professional leadership: Carrie Kenney Archer and Michael Chism.
The statistics are in and in the four years since RCCC became a force in Robertson County, the County has seen significant decreases in County children’s illicit use of alcohol (underage drinking), tobacco, and prescription drugs. These victories have come about through the pair’s efforts on a number of fronts: media campaigns (those social host billboards and great PSA’s featuring a lot of County kids on KBTX, channel 3); tighter law enforcement controlling the sale to and use of alcohol to our under-aged citizens; social host ordinances and contracts with adults agreeing not provide alcohol to minors at parties; and pill roundups to diminish the misuse of prescription drugs. In addition, RCCC has helped Calvert tear down a lot of dilapidated buildings on its west side—helping to revitalize communities and eliminate potential crack houses.
Two other major achievements are the creation of Hearne’s Zero Tolerance Club—a force in HISD—and the County-wide youth coalition—Youth United, which is bringing together teens from all Robertson County to influence their peers not to use drugs and alcohol. RCCC also played a significant role in bringing the Boys and Girls Club to Robertson County.
As members of the youth coalition pointed out Thursday night, it usually takes a teen to influence a teen. The trick is to influence for positive, not negative, behavior, something the Youth United Coalition seems very able and determined to do. Another benefit is youth from different communities are learning to value their peers in neighboring communities. Maybe they could teach us all a lesson.
Archer and Chism also thanked Coalition members Judge Jan Roe, RCCC president, and Angie Bates, the Sheriff’s Office Victims advocate, for their tremendous contributions to RCCC. Without them, said Archer, RCCC could not have achieved all it has achieved.
The outstanding youth awards went to Taryn Quinn and Eugene Scott for their leadership of Hearne ISD’s Zero Tolerance Club and their contributions to Youth United. Also contributed his acting talents to several of the Channel 3 PSA’s.
As guests enjoyed a fajita meal catered by AMA’s, guest speaker Sonja Kimberlin introduced her audience to the work of Celebrate Recovery, a step program based on Biblical scripture designed to free people from their “hurts, habits and hang-ups” that has touched over half a million participates worldwide. Its purpose is to free people from the addictions and/or thought patterns that bind them and are controlling their lives. Kimberlin gave her on testimony, how being co-dependent had essentially paralyzed her—mentally and physically—and how CR and helped her become the person God meant her to be—a leader in the local CR movement.
Though RCCC’s primary focus is prevention, the coalition is also concerned with helping teens and adults who haven’t been reached in time—CR, said Kimberlin, believes there’s hope for anyone. And that’s what RCCC is all about as well.
Melissa Freeman / Robertson County News