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HIP Spotlight: Mari Jo Lohmeier

Hubbard in Prevention (HIP) Coalition has a goal: To reduce underage alcohol, tobacco and other drug use through prevention. The coalition believes Hubbard County can accomplish this goal because there are a growing number of dedicated community members and students that are part of the effort. Each month, HIP will be recognizing its members and supporters. This month please meet Hubbard County 4-H program coordinator and HIP Coalition member, Mari Jo Lohmeier.

Q: Why do you feel passionate about the youth in our community?

Mari Jo: Our youth are the building blocks for our future. We have so many great kids in our community, I just love working with them. It’s important that adults give them healthy, new opportunities to explore and grow.

Q: In your own words, tell what Hubbard in Prevention does.

Mari Jo: We promote the fact that student alcohol use is NOT the norm. We promote the fact that we have many great kids in our community who make healthy decisions and encourage their peers to do the same. We help provide drug-free and alcohol-free activities for our youth. We create awareness in our community of the messages we are sending our youth.

Q: In your own words, explain Positive Community Norms and why you are hopeful that positive messages will make an impact in our community?

Mari Jo: I think that both youth and adults assume that there are a ton of kids involved in drinking, etc. In fact, surveys show that this is NOT true. Kids tend to want to be like other kids. So if we can prove that most kids are NOT drinking, then maybe that will be a positive influence on their decisions.

Q: If underage drinking is reduced in our county, how can/will that affect our community now and in the future?

Mari Jo: It will place more value on education, reduce domestic violence, lower other crime rates and ultimately enable the youth to grow up and be productive citizens and great parents.

Q: How and why would you encourage other people in the community to support the efforts of the Hubbard in Prevention Coalition?

Mari Jo: Become involved! There are many, many people in this community willing to work hard for the youth. Most of our youth are amazing, great leaders. We need to support them because it’s the right thing to do!

The Hubbard in Prevention (HIP) Coalition is funded through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division in partnership with St. Joseph’s Area Health Services. To find out more about the coalition or become a member, contact Beth Heltunen by calling 255-3692, or visiting the website at www.hubbardin