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Myeisha Peguero Gamiño, MA
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The Center at Sierra Health Foundation to Fund Pacific Clinics' Youth IMPACT Project

-- The Project will provide Asian and Latinx youth leadership skills, while concurrently educating parents on youth substance use disorders --

ARCADIA, Calif. (December 15, 2020)Pacific Clinics, a Southern California-based community mental health agency, announced that the Center at Sierra Health Foundation will fund their Youth Inspire and Mobilize People to Achieve Change Together (IMPACT) Project in the amount of $1 million through the Elevate Youth California program. The IMPACT Project will strengthen the leadership skills of low-income, Latinx and Asian immigrant youth ages 12-18 in the San Gabriel Valley by building coping skills through a culturally rooted, trauma-healing youth leadership development and parent education model to overcome the challenges of migration, intergenerational differences, identity formation, and internalized oppression that can lead to risks of substance use.

"We're grateful for the funds The Center at Sierra Health Foundation has given us for the IMPACT Project. Asian and Latinx immigrant youth face different experiences that can lead to an increase in substance use. This Project will teach them how to cope with these traumas and say ‘no' to drugs," says Dr. Terry Gock, divisional director of Pacific Clinics' Asian Pacific Family Center.

The IMPACT Project will provide youth leadership and media awareness training, peer-to-peer learning events, and merchant education. These efforts will be jointly designed, implemented, and evaluated by participants and the Asian Pacific Family Center - Community Youth Council. The IMPACT curriculum is offered to youth while parents will be trained in the Asian American Family Enhancement Network Bicultural Parenting Education Program (AAFEN B-PEP). The youth leadership skills training curriculum is activism-based, and participants will design and host substance-free events or activities, such as Youth Summits, as a component of the training. These activities will build a greater understanding of substance use disorders for youth, as well as address specific risks faced by immigrant youth. The AAFEN B-PEP parent curriculum, which will also be offered in Spanish, is designed to equip and empower parents with knowledge and skills to decrease family conflict, improve family bonding, and decrease delinquent youth behaviors.

"Community and tribal organizations – and youth themselves – are incredible resources for change. Elevate Youth California partnerships with organizations like Pacific Clinics are essential to reaching youth and tackling the many personal and community impacts of the War on Drugs and substance use disorder," said Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and The Center.

The Youth IMPACT project is supported by Elevate Youth California, which is managed by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation under contract with the State of California's Department of Health Care Services through Proposition 64, California Cannabis Tax Fund, Allocation 3, Youth Education Prevention Early Intervention and Treatment Account.

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About Pacific Clinics

Established in 1926, Pacific Clinics is dedicated to unlocking the full potential of individuals, families, and communities through behavioral health services, early education, and training. With 50 locations and 325 schools across Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, and Ventura counties, we offer hope to over 22,300 individuals annually to address trauma and life challenges through our comprehensive health services, case management, health navigation, early and continuing education, housing support, and employment assistance.

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