Youth Substance Use Disorder Prevention Program
The Youth Substance Use Disorder Prevention Program is a program funded through The Sierra Health Foundation – Elevate Youth California, that was established in 2020 under the Pinoleville Pomo Nation. The SUD Prevention Program will advocate for policy, systems, and environmental change within the tribal lands and the school districts, as well as provide culturally appropriate prevention education through activities, trainings, and events. The goals of the program are to reduce substance use in Native American Youth ages 12-26 in Mendocino and Lake Counties by addressing the underlying issues of mental health disorders and advocating for drug free communities through education and prevention. Some of the program’s prevention services include: Annual Family Culture Campout, Monthly Youth Talking Circles, Community Prevention Education Trainings, Annual Youth Leadership Conference, Implementing and Establishing Tribal Youth Councils, Annual Youth Sports Camp, Continued Advocacy and Academic Support for all Native American Students, Monthly Art Classes, and Access to Free Counseling. The program strives to reach out to as many youths as possible and to reduce Substance Use Disorder within the community.
Nik’i já Haley Pulawa. I am the Director for the Youth Substance Use Disorder Prevention Grant through Pinoleville Pomo Nation. I have AS degrees from Mendocino College in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Management, and I have almost completed my fourth degree in Human Services. After Mendocino College I will be attending Humboldt State University for a BS in Social Work. I am Concow and Wailaki enrolled in Round Valley Indian Tribes, and my passion has always been to help tribal youth. I am a trained facilitator in 19 different practice and evidence-based curriculums, and have nine years of experience working with Native American youth from all different communities. My goal is to be a positive role-model in the children’s lives and help them heal, grow, and accomplish their goals through support, prevention, and intervention. I strive to heal whole communities by helping create safe, drug and suicide free communities for generations to come.
My name is Christina Wilson. I am the Student Advocate (SA) for the Youth Substance Use Disorder Prevention Grant through Pinoleville Pomo Nation. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA is Chicano Studies and went on to get a MCLAD California Teaching Credential. I have been an educator for over 20 years in various locations and venues, from the Dominican Republic, to parenting instructor for R.C.S., to my most recent position as a First-Grade teacher at St. Mary’s of the Angels Catholic School.
My role is to advocate on behalf of the Native American youth in regard to their social, mental, and educational needs that will create success for our students. My goal is to reduce systemic racism in our schools through policy change in the Ukiah Unified School District (UUSD). Currently, we are working on a Northern Pomo Language class that will hopefully be offered in the Fall of 2021 along with making Cultural Competency Training mandatory for all UUSD employees. I also engage in prevention activities (listed in our program description) that aim to reduce substance abuse in our local Native youth communities. I am passionate about education and making schools a safe place for our Native students that validates and respects our culture and history.