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Vaping: What Parents Need to Know

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CULTIVATING TRUSTING RELATIONSHIPS » Legal Does Not Mean Okay » Want to Support Your Adolescent’s Health? Be an Askable Adult » Tips to Stay Mentally Well BROUGHT TO YOU BY


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It’s not like you can buy a new brain.

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The human brain is the last organ to fully develop, around the age of 25. The nicotine in e-cigarettes can harm the developing brain and can promote addiction in youth and young adults. Let’s protect our kids. Learn how at e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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MARCH 2019

FEATURES

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Cultivating Trusting Relationships

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Legal Does Not Mean Okay

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Tips to Stay Mentally Well

Want to Support Your Adolescent’s Health? Be an Askable Adult

Vaping: What Parents Need to Know

IN EVERY ISSUE

2 From the Director 5 The Kitchen Table 10 Faces in the Crowd 11 40 Developmental Assets 12 Assets in Action 18 Q&A and By the Numbers BROUGHT TO YOU BY

PRODUCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH

TO ADVERTISE OR CONTRIBUTE ycdupage@gmail.com

COVER PHOTO BY

Wandering Albatross Photography www.dupageplt.org

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Director FROM THE

ABOUT THE DUPAGE COUNTY PREVENTION LEADERSHIP TEAM The DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team (PLT) is a county-wide community coalition working together to prevent substance use and increase mental health among DuPage County youth, 18 years and younger. Our mission is to bring together a collaboration of leaders that assess and advocate for the use of best practices to reduce risk behaviors of youth leading to substance use, abuse and addiction to ultimately lead to our vision that DuPage County is a mentally and physically healthy, drug-free community. The PLT came together in 2011 following a county-wide health assessment, which identified substance abuse and mental health as two of the top five health priorities facing DuPage County. This information led to a call to action among community leaders and the PLT was formed. In 2014, the PLT was awarded the Drug Free Communities grant and currently has over fifty active coalition members representing more than twenty organizations throughout the county, and continues to grow in capacity. The PLT is comprised of community leaders and key players in DuPage County who represent one of twelve community sectors; schools, law enforcement, businesses, parents, youth, youth-serving organizations, substance abuse organizations, religious/fraternal organizations, media, civic/volunteer groups, healthcare professionals and state and local government agencies. The coalition utilizes data gathered from the Illinois Youth Survey, an anonymous, self-reported survey given to middle and high school students. This data source assists the PLT in strategic planning and helps the coalition identify the main issues youth are facing. Alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse are the main substances the PLT are looking to address through multiple individual and environmental strategies. Coalition members acknowledge that pooling resources and working together will result in a larger impact at a county-wide level and will lead to achieving the common goal of reducing youth substance use and increasing mental wellness in DuPage.

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e couldn’t be more excited to share this spring issue with you. With expertly written and researched articles such as: “Cultivating Trusting Relationships”, “How to be an Askable Adult” and “Tips to Stay Mentally Well”, we feel confident this issue will provide parents and adult caregivers with information that is DOUG PETIT relatable and useful for everyday issues that may arise throughout the year. With spring also comes prom and graduation events. These events are fun and exciting milestones in every teen’s life but can also be a time when parents and other adults feel it might be okay for teens to celebrate with alcohol. This dangerous decision can all too often turn these fun events into tragic ones. Additionally, with states across our country beginning to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, including our own state strongly considering it, there is much confusion about the safety and perception of this drug. Our article, “Legal Does Not Mean Safe”, addresses these issues. Be sure to also check out the “Dating Tips for Teens” article and the article on vaping and share this important information with your teens. We are also proud to point out the sections that are customized to our DuPage County community. The Assets in Action section highlight adults and teens throughout DuPage who meet one of the 40 Developmental Assets. Developmental Assets are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive in life and avoid risky behaviors. The Faces in the Crowd section spotlights students, adults and organizations that are standing out in DuPage and making an impact. Finally, we’d like to thank all our advertisers who have filled this magazine with ads to promote local services as well as prevention messages and public service announcements. We hope you enjoy this issue of Youth Connections Magazine and hope you find the information valuable to help your teens and family thrive. Happy spring!

DOUG PETIT

President, Parents and Teens Together Co-Chair, DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team 2824 Wheatland Court Naperville, Il. 60564 jpfunrun@sbcglobal.net (630) 999-0053

This issue was paid for in part or in whole by the Illinois Department of Human Services.


Treating the whole you We specialize in the treatment of addictions, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-injury, and geriatric behavioral health. Comprehensive outpatient services for adults and adolescents are located in Naperville, Plainfield, St. Charles, Hinsdale, Mokena and Arlington Heights. At Linden Oaks, we can get you the treatment you need to help you get your life back.

Call our Help Line 24/7 at (630) 305-5027 for your free, confidential assessment.

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Parenting

Conversations. Resources. Connections. We support parents & caregivers in raising joyful, competent, resilient children who live whole-hearted & balanced lives. Join us in monthly conversations!

www.onbalanceparenting.org

@OnBalanceParenting

@BalanceParentg

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Choose ACCESS for all your health care needs. We offer:

Three convenient DuPage locations:

• Family Medicine

ACCESS Addison Family Health Center 1111 Lake St., Lower Level Addison, IL 60101 630.628.1811

• Behavioral Health • OB-GYN • Confidential services available for all patients including youth • Physical exams • Health education • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing and treatment • Birth control and emergency contraception

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Ask for Title Ten.

ACCESS Martin T. Russo Family Health Center 245 S. Gary Ave., Lower Level Bloomingdale, IL 60108 630.893.5230 ACCESS West Chicago Family Health Center 245 W. Roosevelt Rd. Building 14, Suite 150 West Chicago, IL 60185 630.293.4124


CONFESSIONS FROM THE KITCHEN TABLE WHAT TO DO ABOUT FRIENDS! FRIENDSHIP FROM A MOTHER’S POINT OF VIEW I remember going through the trials and errors of having friends. My mom would just say that stinks and move on with her day. I grew up on an Air Force Base, which lead to a constant change in friends. But as I grew older I learned the importance of developing relationships/friendships. Fast forward to the future. I remember my daughter coming home in the 3rd grade crying about friends and the issues with all the girls picking best friends. I remember the mama bear in me coming out and wanting to protect my child from the hurt. As I pondered what to do, I thought if I jump in and call the other child’s parent, what am I teaching my child? I listened to the whole story and decided to help my daughter come to her own conclusion which gave her ownership of her decision. Just recently my son was dealing with a similar situation with two of his friends. Everyday he would come home with his spirit crushed. I sat him down and talked about healthy relationships/friendships. I explained to him that sometimes relationships/ friendships can become unhealthy. We talked about how people will come in and out of our lives, just like we come in and out of other people’s lives. We each have a choice, whether to create a positive story in that person’s life or a negative story. Many times some of

us want to help people out by investing in relationships/friendships that are not healthy. Of course there are those times when we as parents see our child’s friends being, well to be honest, little monsters. It’s so hard not to jump in and fix it. It’s gotten worse in this age of technology where people, not just kids, can say whatever they want because they’re hiding behind a screen. I try to help them through the hurt without fixing it for them. It is one of the harder things I have to do as a parent. Ultimately, I understand my role as a parent is to prepare my child to be independent, so I try to help them develop and work on their own relationships/ friendships. As they grow up, issues become more complicated and can cause bigger issues. I help my children to take a step back and look at their relationship/friendship from the other person’s point of view. This helps them sometimes see why people do what they do and gives them perspective on how to handle the situation. They then have to decide if this relationship/friendship is worth continuing to work on. If it is then they need to figure out what to do to work on it, this is when I offer advice. Sometimes they take it and other times they don’t. When I offer advice I usually offer options and let them pick the options they want. Then I say, ‘I know you’ll make the best decision and let me know how it turns out.’

Nine times out of ten they work through the issues or make a decision to let the relationship/friendship go. FRIENDSHIP FROM A TEENAGER’S POINT OF VIEW There is no set definition on friendship. Sure there’s a dictionary definition, but that does no justice in the grand scheme of life. Friendship is about finding people who make your journey through life a little more enjoyable. Just like life, friendships are crazy little adventures. Not every adventure is going to go well, but the greatest adventures are the ones that will always stick in your memory. On the path to long term friendships are bumps, pot-holes, and huge boulders. Talking is important during these times, but space always plays a major role. Through many friendships, I have learned that people change. They will never be the same as who they were before, so either you accept it or move on. Holding on or letting go of friendships is one of the hardest things you have to decide throughout your life. Sometimes people deserve second chances and sometimes second chances just won’t do the trick. When you have friends that don’t associate themselves in your victories and, most importantly, your losses, that will eventually lead to you letting go of them. ■

YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR STORY AT: ycdupage@gmail.com For many of us the kitchen table represents the typical family experience. We have laughed while having family game night. We have cried over our children’s choices. We have blown out the candles on many cakes. We have argued our way out of doing the dishes. We have struggled through those “three more bites.” We have learned hard lessons and celebrated many deserved successes. One thing is for sure though—if our kitchen tables could talk, there would be plenty of stories! So often it is in relating to others’ stories that we realize there isn’t always one answer, or even a right answer. Parenting is hard work! If you have a story of lessons learned, we invite you to share it with our readers. Sometimes, knowing we aren’t the only ones struggling to find the answer is all the help we need.

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cultivating trus RELATION By JENNIFER MILLER, M.ED.

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sting NSHIPS

“It’s sad our girls aren’t talking. How are they going to work anything out that way?” said Tara, the mother of Janie’s teenage daughter’s best and oldest friend. “I didn’t know they were fighting,” replied Janie as she walked away wondering why she hadn’t heard first hand about her daughter’s friendship woes. When she returned home, Janie asked her daughter about it. “Oh, it’s nothing,” was her daughter’s response. he recalled just last evening noticing the light on under her door late into the evening and could see her daughter’s tired, worn expression. “I can see you’re upset. And Mrs. Anderson mentioned that you and Cara aren’t talking. Won’t you tell me what’s going on?” As Janie wondered why her daughter chose to struggle in silence, she thought about their conversations about Cara over the past months. Janie didn’t approve of how Cara pressured her daughter to take risks she might not otherwise take and had made that wellknown to her daughter. Had her comments about Cara created a barrier between her and her daughter? Was she now not safe to confide in? Her frustration mounted as she tried to figure out what she might do or say to get her daughter talking again. How does an adult become “ask-able” - the kind of adult with whom children and teens are comfortable coming to and confiding in? Parents and educators need to be able to help with smaller, everyday issues like when children and teens face simple friendship problems and the big upsets that accompany them. These little confidences between adult and child or teen prepare them for larger issues like dealing with peer pressure, navigating failing grades, or dealing with a bullying peer. The question raised is critically important since, according to a recent review of five years of bullying trends by Limber and colleagues, the majority of U.S. youth say they would not tell a parent or teacher if they were being bullied. Why? Some may fear adults blaming them for the incident. But others may fear that adults will take action toward continued on page 9

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This happy, carefree moment made possible by Rosecrance Leaders in addiction treatment for teens and young adults. If your son or daughter is abusing drugs or alcohol, Rosecrance can help. It’s time to reclaim the ordinary moments you miss most. Life’s waiting. Call 815.391.1000 for a free consultation.

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continued from page 7

the bully, punishing the action and leaving the accusing child vulnerable to further attacks. So what’s a caring teacher, parent, after school program staff person, or other who works with children or teens to do? Ultimately, it comes down to trust. Does the child or teen trust you enough to sensitively, carefully listen, and respond to their story with empathy for all involved? Will you help them strengthen their friendships? Will you think through the potential consequences and ensure that further harm does not result from your intervention? In fact, the site that launched in January of this year entitled ParentingMontana.org, a model for parents around the country, teaches precisely those specific ways of responding that can promote trusting, caring relationships, ones in which adults learn how to become the “ask-able” or approachable adult. Fundamental to getting along in school, in the workplace, and at home are relationship skills - one of the five core competencies named in research as vital to children’s success. Current research is also finding that not only are these social and emotional skills essential for children and teens, they are also essential to hone in teachers, parents, and all those who work with children to ensure their success. Relationship skills involve the ability to listen for understanding, to assert needs, communicate effectively, seek help when needed, and negotiate conflict constructively. These skills are best learned through interactive modeling or enacting the skill and reflecting on what the child noticed while it was being performed. And, the good news is that when we become intentional about modeling these skills, we enjoy multiple benefits. Our skills increase alongside our increasing child’s skills while deepening our trusting relationship. The following are simple, practical ideas for becoming intentional about cultivating trusting relationships so that you become an “ask-able” adult. Each practice will be followed by questions so that you can reflect on how small changes might improve how you relate to the children you care about. CREATE A DAILY LISTENING RITUAL Children and teens of all ages have big and small questions about the world. Daily, they are hard at work trying to figure out their emotions, friendships, and other mysteries of the universe! Create a time in your day when you really listen to your child (or teen). Put your phone away. Find out what’s really going on in their mind. If you are a teacher or program staff person, gather in a circle daily and offer each

child/teen the chance to share. Reflect on a key question like “how do you most like to spend your free time?” or “what does being a good friend mean to you?” It doesn’t have to require a lot of your time. For parents, bedtime can become a magical opportunity for connection when you can reflect on the worries, cares, and happy thoughts of the day. Be sure that when you are listening, you keep an open mind and reserve judgment. If they fear your critique, they’ll be less likely to speak up. Key Reflections: How frequently do you put your phone away, ensure distractions are minimized, and fully focus on listening to the child or teen in front of you? How could you manage to build time into your day to make this caring connection? Added Bonus: This strategy is used frequently by parents and teachers to achieve several additional goals. It can significantly improve behavior if a child is tempted to engage in attention-seeking misbehaviors. Your daily ritual can take care of the child’s need for your focused attention. This simple strategy can also ensure safety so that adults can become aware of upset feelings and problems through these discussions and address them before they escalate into a crisis. PRACTICE ASSERTING NEEDS AND ASKING FOR HELP As advocates for young people, we may frequently speak up for them when they are not well articulating their needs. This may unintentionally take away valuable practice. So how can we encourage their assertive communication rehearsals? Look for and offer plenty of small chances for children to speak up. Encourage your child or teen to order dinner themselves at a restaurant. Offer helpful sample language to a teen who is unsure how to assert her needs to a friend. Teachers can conduct occasional student-teacher one-onones where they check in on how they are feeling about their work, share strengths, and ask about areas of concern. Provide plenty of wait time and if your child or teen stumbles or is thinking silently, allow them time to figure it out. While running errands with your child, point out who might be best to seek help from if they got lost or needed help while in the store. You might ask, by ”can you identify a store clerk?” or “can you find a caring Mom?” Or talk through safety plans with your teen. “What if your car breaks down while out with friends?” In any circumstance in which a child or teen is in trouble, any caring Mom may just be the most likely candidate to step up and help.

Key Reflections: Is your child or teen able to tell you or a teacher when they have a need whether it’s a headache or they’ve been emotionally hurt? How can you look for small chances in your every day time with children to help them practice asserting their needs or asking for help? FOCUS ON LEARNING ABOUT AND USING LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES NOT PUNISHMENTS Most parents admit that knowing what to do about discipline issues is challenging. And teachers and other providers share that challenge. But it’s a problem worth tackling if punitive strategies only work to create distrust among and between children and adults. How could a teacher respond to friends who are arguing and clearly upset? Listening with an open mind is a proven strategy. Key Reflections: How can we help deal with children’s or teen’s feelings by first helping them calm down? How can we plan ahead for dealing with our own big feelings of anger or frustration when children or teens act out so that we calm down instead of raising our volume? Then, how can we help children reflect on and repair the harm they’ve caused whether it involves hurt feelings or damaged property? Because every situation is different, the solutions will be different too. If detention or suspension is the same consequence for every mis-step, how will children or teens learn authentic consequences and how to take steps to fix what they’ve broken? Perhaps in the case of the two friends giving each other the silent treatment after an argument, after calming down and listening for understanding, a teacher might ask the individuals involved what their role in the problem was, what harm they caused, and how they could repair the emotional damage? This involves our children or teens in thinking through the situation, taking responsibility, and finding their own way to make amends. These lessons promote continued trust between adults and students if we only take the time and care to follow through. And, these steps can be taken in family life too. If we want our children and teens to discover how to navigate relationships - the cornerstone of their sense of wellbeing - then we need to invest in our continued focus on building trust and safety. We need to find opportunities that naturally arise in everyday life for our children and teens to become thoughtful and active participants in growing healthy relationships. ■

About The Author: Jennifer Miller, M.Ed., author of the popular site, Confident Parents, Confident Kids, has twenty years of experience helping adults become more effective with the children they love through social and emotional learning. Among other roles, she serves as lead writer for Parenting Montana: Tools for Your Child’s Success, a statewide media campaign to educate parents on social and emotional learning www.dupageplt.org

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Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please email ycdupage@gmail.com and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.

Jordan Cobbs

FACES IN THE CROWD

WILLOWBROOK CORNER AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM, 5TH GRADE

Jordan is a 5th grader who attends the Willowbrook Corner After School Program at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School. Jordan is a charismatic and cheerful student who brightens the day of her peers. She is very helpful to her teachers and after school staff. She is always helping her classmates with homework or helping with the younger children in the program. Jordan is also in the school band where she plays the clarinet. Her favorite song to play is shoo fly. Jordan’s after school teacher stated, “I can always count on Jordan to help me out. She is very hard working and is determined to do her best. We value Jordan in our program.”

Allison O’Connor

BENET ACADEMY, 10TH GRADE

Allison joined the DuPage County Teen Reality Board last September to make a positive impact in the community. She, along with other members of Reality, recently presented to the Downers Grove Village Council and was successful in persuading the Council to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in their city. Allison loves going to Reality every month because she gets to meet new kids her age that have the same passion for learning about health policies affecting teens. Outside of Reality, Allison participates in cross country, math team, investment club and volunteers at SALT, helping her campus ministry.

Kassidy Butler

LAKE PARK HIGH SCHOOL, 11TH GRADE

Kassidy is a member of the DuPage County Teen Reality Board. She enjoys being a part of a group where she can bring attention to the issues she sees around her and spend time working to make a difference in her community. Outside of participating on Reality, she participates in Junior Class Council, Key Club, DECA and FCCLA. One of her greatest passions is her involvement in the Special Olympics program at her school. She loves helping the athletes train and watching them grow throughout the season. She is also part of the Pathways Leadership program where she gets to spend time with the special education students.

Rachel Tsen

NAMI DUPAGE, YOUTH PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Rachel is dedicated to reducing the stigma of mental health conditions through education. In her five years at NAMI DuPage, Rachel has been in over half of DuPage County schools, helping reach thousands of youth with the Ending the Silence (ETS) program. ETS is a 40-50 minute mental health awareness presentation for middle and high school age youth. Rachel and her team educate teens on how to recognize the early warning signs of mental illness and what to do if they or someone they know is exhibiting these signs. With this program, Rachel and NAMI DuPage instill a message of hope and recovery, and encourage teens to reduce the stigma and end the silence surrounding mental illness.

Illinois Human Performance Project

The Illinois Human Performance Project provides a framework for students, parents, and school personnel to encourage optimal performance and establish a culture of excellence. School-based, student-led IL HPP chapters empower students to hold themselves and others accountable to: making optimal decisions about health and wellness, role modeling positive behaviors and attitudes, and establishing a culture of excellence and living up to high standards. Getting enough sleep, eating well, abstaining from substance use, and having a positive mindset are key factors for reaching one’s academic, athletic, and/or extracurricular goals, but the ability to have peer-to peer-support and accountability in doing so gives an even greater foundation for being one’s best! For additional information on implementing IL HPP locally, visit ilhpp.org.

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40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

40 Developmental Assets are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive, do well in school, and avoid risky behavior. Youth Connections utilizes the 40 Developmental Assets Framework to guide the work we do in promoting positive youth development. The 40 Assets model was developed by the Minneapolis-based Search Institute based on extensive research. Just as we are coached to diversify our financial assets so that all our eggs are not in one basket, the strength that the 40 Assets model can build in our youth comes through diversity. In a nutshell, the more of the 40 Assets youth possess, the more likely they are to exhibit positive behaviors and attitudes (such as good health and school success) and the less likely they are to exhibit risky behaviors (such as drug use and promiscuity). It’s that simple: if we want to empower and protect our children, building the 40 Assets in our youth is a great way to start. Look over the list of Assets on the following page and think about what Assets may be lacking in our community and what Assets you can help build in our young people. Do what you can do with the knowledge that even through helping build one asset in one child, you are increasing the chances that child will grow up safe and successful. Through our combined efforts, we will continue to be a place where Great Kids Make Great Communities.

Turn the page to learn more!

The 40 Developmental Assets® may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only. Copyright © 1997 Search Institute®, 615 First Avenue NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828; www.search-institute.org. All rights reserved.

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assets in action

40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

7 SUPPORT

1. Family support: Family life provides high levels of love and support. 2. Positive family communication: Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s). 3. Other adult relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults. 4. Caring neighborhood: Young person experiences caring neighbors. 5. Caring school climate: School provides a caring, encouraging environment. 6. Parent involvement in school: Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.

Community members advocate for prevention at Capitol Hill

EMPOWERMENT

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7. Community values youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth. 8. Youth as resources: Young people are given useful roles in the community. 9. Service to others: Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week. 10. Safety: Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.

BOUNDARIES & EXPECTATIONS

Prevention messages are shared with students during Prevention Week Prevention Leadership Team leaders attend CADCA academy in Virginia

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11. Family boundaries: Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts. 12. School boundaries: School provides clear rules and consequences. 13. Neighborhood boundaries: Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior. 14. Adult role models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior. 15. Positive peer influence: Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior. 16. High expectations: Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME

Students provide public comment in support of Tobacco 21

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17. Creative activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts. 18. Youth programs: Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in the community. 19. Religious community: Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution. 20. Time at home: Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.


If you or your child would like to submit a picture that represents one of the 40 Developmental Assets, please email ycdupage@gmail.com with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.

22 COMMITMENT TO LEARNING

21. Achievement motivation: Young person is motivated to do well in school. 22. School engagement: Young person is actively engaged in learning. 23. Homework: Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day. 24. Bonding to school: Young person cares about her or his school. 25. Reading for pleasure: Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Dangers of vaping display at Glenside Public Library

POSITIVE VALUES

SOCIAL COMPETENCIES

32. Planning and decision making: Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices. 33. Interpersonal competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. 34. Cultural competence: Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds. 35. Resistance skills: Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations. 36. Peaceful conflict resolution: Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

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26. Caring: Young person places high value on helping other people. 27. Equality and social justice: Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. 28. Integrity: Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs. 29. Honesty: Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.” 30. Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility. 31. Restraint: Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs. Reality IL students participate in a mock city council meeting

Teens access dental services at DuPage County Health Department

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POSITIVE IDENTITY

37. Personal power: Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.” 38. Self-esteem: Young person reports having a high self-esteem. 39. Sense of purpose: Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.” 40. Positive view of personal future: Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

Adults earn certificate in how to advocate for youth

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LEGAL

does not mean okay By LINDA COLLINS, Prevention Specialist

here have been a lot of changes recently across the country regarding the legalization of marijuana. Alcohol is legal for adults over the age of 21. Prescription pills are legal if prescribed by a physician. No matter how we as adults feel about substance use and misuse of medications, research has proven that the use of any substance is harmful for youth and the developing brain. Just because a substance has been legalized for recreational or medicinal use by adults, does not make it okay for youth use. The following is information taken from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. MARIJUANA Of the more than 500 chemicals in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is responsible for many of the drug’s mind-altering effects. Marijuana disrupts the brain’s normal functioning and can lead to problems studying, learning new things, and recalling recent events. These skills are obviously needed to be successful in school. In fact, youth who use marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of high school. THC affects the areas of the brain that control balance and coordination, as well as helps control movement. These influence performance in sports, driving, and even video gaming. It interferes with alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time. (This comes in handy if a baseball is coming at our face at 60 mph). High school seniors who smoke marijuana are twice as likely to receive a traffic ticket and 65% more likely to get into a car crash than those who don’t smoke. THC affects areas of the brain involved in decision making. Using marijuana can make youth more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex or getting in a car with someone who’s impaired. Research suggests that people who use marijuana regularly for a long time are less

satisfied with their lives and have more problems with friends and family compared to people who do not use marijuana. Being a teenager these days is hard enough to maneuver without adding the burden of additional problems with friends and family. Whether we want to believe it or not, marijuana can be addicting. Approximately 10 percent of users will develop marijuana use disorder. Youth who begin using before the age of 18 are 4–7 times more likely than adults to develop a marijuana use disorder. ALCOHOL Alcohol is the mostly widely used substance of abuse by America’s youth. When teens drink alcohol, it affects their brain in the short-term, but repeated use can impact long-term brain development. It can affect both function and structure. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, youth who being drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to meet the criteria of alcohol dependence at some point in their life. Drinking can lead to poor decisions by youth about engaging in risky behavior, like drinking and driving, sexual activity (such as unprotected sex), and aggressive or violent behavior. In fact, underage youth who drink are more likely to carry out or be the victim of a physical or sexual assault after drinking than others their age who do not drink. PRESCRIPTION AND OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS When taken as prescribed, prescription and over the counter medications can be effective ways to treat pain or cold/flu. If taken without symptoms or in higher quantities, it can affect the brain in similar ways illegal drugs can, and can lead to addiction. Given all these statistics and the research, it’s important that we as parents relay the facts to youth so misinformation does not lead them to make poor decisions. Our conversation needs to include the dangers of drugs on the developing brain

and why just because it’s legal for adults, it’s not okay for kids. Here are some pointers from, “Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change,” William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnicon, on how to have that conversation: + Keep an open mind. When a child feels judged or condemned, she is less likely to be receptive to the message. + We need to put ourselves in their shoes. Consider how we would like to be spoken to about a difficult subject. Try to think back what it was like when we were teens. Ask if it’s okay talking about this and if it’s okay if we give some advice. + Be clear about our goals. Try writing them down and review them later to make sure we got our points across. + Be calm. If we start when we’re angry or anxious, it will be harder to achieve our goal. + Be positive. Approaching the subject with anger, scare tactics or disappointment will be counterproductive. Pay attention and be respectful and understanding. Telling them that we appreciate their honesty will go a long way. + Don’t lecture. (It didn’t work when our parents did it!) Just telling them ‘they shouldn’t use because we’re the parent and we said so’ will not work. Offer empathy and compassion, showing them that we get what they’re saying. + Ask open-ended questions, for example, “tell me more about…” Then sum up and ask questions. It’s important with all the messaging on marijuana and the messages we send youth about alcohol and even medications, they understand just because it’s legal, does not make it okay for them to use. Their brains are still developing, and for their health and safety, and for them to reach their full potential, they must stay substance-free. ■

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WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR ADOLESCENT’S HEALTH?

be an askable adult By JENNI LANE, MA and LAUREN RANALLI, MPH, Adolescent Health Initiative

Mom/Dad, kids at school were talking about [fill in the blank with: suicide; racism; vaping; bullying; pornography or any hot button celebrity scandal] and I was just wondering… is what they said true?” Deep breath. As the saying goes, raising tweens and teens is not for the faint of heart. When we’re on the spot with a tough question, it can be tempting to respond with a quick cliché or to change the subject. Some of us grew up hearing from our own parents that these topics were “adult” and off-limits for household discussion. At these moments, we as parents and guardians have an opportunity to establish ourselves as a trustworthy, go-to source for accurate information and sound guidance. Being “askable” doesn’t mean that our kids will always come to us when they have questions or problems – and when they do come to us, it doesn’t mean we won’t be uncomfortable or mad. But it does mean that our kids know we are willing to talk to them about difficult things and with accurate information, without shaming them. We can start establishing ourselves as askable adults when our kids are young. Being askable to a seven year-old when they have questions about a slang term sets up trust and sends a message that it’s okay to be curious. Catherine M. Wallace writes, “If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” When we validate the concerns of our kids, whether they’re four or fourteen, we build trust. Being askable can also serve as a protective factor, helping create a shield

against health risks as our children get older and encounter more occasions to make unhealthy decisions. If teens come to us when they need guidance or information about things like alcohol and other drugs, mental health, relationships, or STD prevention, we have an opportunity to share accurate information that they might not get from the school bus or social media. We don’t have to have all of the answers. Often, just being open to the question and finding the answer together from a reputable source can illustrate that we care about their health, and it reinforces that we’re safe to come to. In many cases, these conversations can also provide an opportunity for us to share our values around these issues. It’s not easy, and we will make mistakes! We don’t always hide our initial reactions of shock or judgment, we lose our cool, we say things that we regret. And sometimes, teens will just not feel comfortable coming to us with questions or concerns. And that’s okay. Helping our kids connect with other trusted adults can be a great way to ensure that they’re going to get accurate information and healthy support and advice. This can be an aunt, grandfather, family friend, or any other adult who you trust in this role. At the Adolescent Health Initiative, we focus on connecting teens with youth-friendly health care providers. Health care providers can be a valuable resource, and many providers who work with teens consider it an important part of their job to be askable. It is important to find the right fit for your family, and it’s essential for your child to receive care at a health center that values

providing adolescent-centered services. Some things for you and your child to consider when selecting a health center may include: Is the physical space welcoming to teens and affirming of LGBTQ youth? Do the waiting and exam rooms offer a sense of privacy? Does the health center provide confidential risk screening? What else will make your child feel comfortable in this setting? Whether you are transitioning to a new provider or continuing care with an existing one, make a point to talk to them about ways to empower your child to better manage their own care. For example, the teen years are a great time for young people to learn their family health history, schedule their own appointments, and understand their insurance coverage. Additionally, make space for your child to spend time alone with their provider starting around age 13. This gives young people the opportunity to ask questions and share their own view of their health. Confidentiality and minor consent laws vary in each state, but you and your child should be aware of which mental health and sexual health services are available to adolescents. The most common health problems among adolescents are a result of risky behaviors, so it’s especially important for teens to feel like they can talk to their provider honestly. Finding a provider your teen considers an askable, trustworthy adult, in a health center where they feel welcome and valued, can have a lifetime of positive effects on their health. If we see the provider as a partner, we can work together to help our teens make their way through adolescence as resilient, healthy adults. ■

LOOKING FOR MORE RESOURCES? The Adolescent Health Initiative can help! We work with providers and health care professionals from around the country to improve adolescent-centered care. Visit www.adolescenthealthintiative.org for videos, handouts, and resources for parents, teens, and providers self-advocacy and empowerment.

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NUMBERS I need dating tips for teens.

42

How many times recently have we heard about #Metoo in the news? With one in four girls and one of six boys being victimized by sexual violence before they turn 18, it’s time for us to talk about it with our kids, especially as they begin to step into the dating world. + Share with your child regularly your wisdom around dating and your expectations of them in the dating world. Share what your dating and intimacy expectations are for them, and encourage them to share these expectations with their dating partner. + Meet their dating partners and get to know them. Learn what your child likes about them. Help them to understand the boundaries you expect. For example, no calls or texts after 9 pm or setting reasonable curfews. + Discuss with your child the importance of avoiding being alone with a dating partner until they know each other better. + Highlight how drugs and alcohol can skew perceptions and can be used against someone to make them more vulnerable to harm. + Teach your child to “trust their gut.” If things feel weird or wrong, then they should trust that feeling and get out of the situation. + Help your child to create a safety plan for removing themselves from an uncomfortable situation. Maybe give them access to your Lyft or Uber account, or offer to pick them up whenever/ wherever they need it; no questions asked. + Work to instill in your child that they are always to be treated with respect. If anyone, especially a dating partner, belittles them or tries to take advantage of them, help your child know that this behavior is never going to be OK! + Take the Rating Game Challenge together: YOUR DATING PARTNER (CHECK ALL THAT APPLY)  Has an explosive temper  Is jealous of your time, friends, and family  Constantly criticizes you, your looks, your ideas  Pinches, slaps, grabs, or pushes you  Forces or intimidates you into sexual activity  Blames you for their anger  Makes you feel afraid

The number of teeth a bear has.

6000

The number of times the Earth is struck by lightning in a minute.

3995

The length of The Great Wall of China, in miles.

70 million The number of sheep in New Zealand.

15

If you checked even one box, your partner rates a zero. Talk to your child and help find solutions that work for him/her.

The distance, in miles, a dolphin can hear underwater.

Kelly Parsley, M.A. M.P.H. has been a victim advocate for sexual violence survivors for 21 years. She currently serves on the board of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

HAVE A QUESTION?

email: ycdupage@gmail.com We cannot guarantee all questions will be published; however, we will do our best to respond to all questions submitted.

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The number of years an average person will spend asleep.


Get the Conversation Started. Talking with your teenager about sex and drugs can be challenging.

We’re here to help. Studies show that parents are the biggest influencers of their child’s decision making. Conversations in your family and community help ensure your kids are making informed choices. Take advantage of our family resources and programs which not only get the conversation started but keep it going.

Visit www.robertcrown.org/programs/family-resources for more information.

IT Y U B ’T N A C Y E H T IF DON’T SUPPLY IT. Preventing underage drinking is everyone’s responsibility.

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tips to stay

MENTALLY WELL By KIMBERLY GARDNER, LCSW, LAC

here are things we can do to stay mentally well or “mend” ourselves after stressful events. Just like if we were to overdo it in the yard on a hot summer day, our body may “break down.” We know that rest, lots of water, and staying out of the sun can help with our gardening episode. There are things we can do for our mental health before and during stressful periods of our lives to help us cope and avoid “breaking down.” Just like with our physical health, our mental health needs to be taken care of as well. We know that if we eat healthy foods, get good sleep, and exercise, our chances of becoming ill are reduced. The same is true of our mental health. Unfortunately we often forget to nurture the activities that help us stay mentally well, especially when we need it most, like during a crisis. When we neglect our mental health, our physical health can suffer too. It’s important to make sure we do this, but also help youth make healthy choices, for both their physical and mental health. To prevent every day crises turning into full blown emergencies, everyone should develop a plan to stay mentally healthy. It is especially important to help youth identify activities that help them deal with the trials of everyday life. TIPS FOR KIDS AND ADULTS + Engage in a physical activity that is enjoyable (swim, walk, hike, bike, dance, skate) + Get adequate sleep + Smile and laugh + Un-plug from technology (it’s amazing how freeing it can be!) + Talk with a friend or loved-one (face-to-face) + Make time to do things that are enjoyable – take some “me” time

+ Get some sunshine (but remember sunscreen) + Eat foods that boost mood such as omega 3, nuts, avocados, beans, leafy greens, blueberries + Find relaxation and coping strategies – color, cuddle with a pet, take a warm bath, draw or write + Practice mindfulness – live in the moment There are also ways to live our lives differently to help our mental health. Looking on the bright side of things increases our ability to experience happiness in our everyday lives. It can take some practice, but it really can help us cope better with stress. Having hope allows us to see the light at the end of the tunnel and helps us push through challenging times. Being optimistic helps us know that light isn’t an oncoming train. It’s extremely important to stay connected with face-to-face relationships. Research is showing that kids are increasingly sad because they have no human contact, just messages through a screen. Friends and family can help us feel loved, needed, accepted, and meet our emotional needs. Being grateful is an integral part to finding happiness. Those of us who are thankful for what we have are more able to cope with stress and have more positive emotions. Start a gratitude journal and write down three things every day that we can be thankful for – they don’t have to be big. Even on our seemingly worst days, we can be thankful for the sun/rain, a hot cup of coffee, or a hug from our kids. We can help kids find what they’re thankful for as well – no homework, their favorite meal, or a kiss from the dog. We know that sometimes, even with our best efforts, kids struggle. Unfortunately, kids aren’t always forthcoming with what’s

happening in their lives and can have troubles letting us know they are suffering until there is a crisis. What might look like typical teenage angst and acting out might be a sign of overwhelming stress, despair over a relationship conflict or a sense of impending disaster. Unlike most adults in crisis, teens in crisis often are experiencing more symptoms of intense anxiety than signs of depression. Because their brains are not fully developed yet, they’re not always able to understand the context of some situations or have hope that it will end well. In this case it may be time to seek out a mental health professional for an assessment. WARNING SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS: + Loss of interest or feeling low + Emotional numbing + Taking dangerous risks + Using alcohol or drugs to escape + Changes in sleeping or eating + Forgetfulness + Exaggerated startle response + Impaired concentration + Social withdrawal + Chronic fatigue + Insomnia + Loss of sense of spirituality + Hyper-vigilance + Doing ordinary things gets harder If a child exhibits any of these signs, it’s best to ask the child’s physician or school for help in obtaining an assessment. Just like physical health, it’s important for all of us to take steps to have good mental health. We know that even if we do everything right, sometimes things happen and we need to reach out for help, and that’s okay. As much as we’d like, none of us have 100% control over our physical OR mental health. ■

To prevent every day crises turning into full blown emergencies, everyone should develop a plan to stay mentally healthy. It is especially important to help youth identify activities that help them deal with the trials of everyday life. www.dupageplt.org

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WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

vaping By BRANDEE TYREE, Prevention Specialist

he Center on Addiction states that vaping is “the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles. Many of these particles contain varying amounts of toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, as well as respiratory and heart disease.” It can be noted that vaping in general, yet specifically marijuana, means there is not the typical odor that comes from smoking tobacco or marijuana, which means vaping can be hard for a parent to detect. The newest and most popular vaping product is the JUUL. It’s a small, sleek device that resembles a computer USB flash drive which makes it easy to conceal. Every JUUL product contains a high dose of nicotine and/or can contain marijuana. One pod or flavor cartridge contains about the same amount of nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes. These devices can heat cannabis, often through cannabis-infused oils, to a temperature at which the mind-altering compounds in the plant are released as a vapor that the user inhales. One study

suggests that at least for first-timers or others who don’t use cannabis regularly, vaping delivers greater amounts of THC, which increases the likelihood of adverse reactions. A concerning fact from a national survey of teens found that about 6 percent of those who had ever vaped reported vaping marijuana. In addition to delivering a higher dose of the drug, vaping produces an aerosol of ultrafine particles that are sent to the lungs and then the brain. These particles are really small, a 50th to 100th the size of a hair. They can go right through the lungs and into the blood and from there into the cells of the body. So what is helpful for parents to know? + Juul and vape pens can be small and easy to conceal, which make it hard for parents to detect. + Vaping THC does not produce the telltale smell that emerges when smoking marijuana through a joint, blunt or pipe. This allows teens and young adults to use marijuana without being detected. + When people vape rather than smoke marijuana, they tend to consume even higher concentrations of THC, which means greater exposure to the drug’s mind altering and addictive ingredient. ■

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Marijuana Use and Teens What Parents Need to Know FAST Facts DuPage County 12th graders who reported having used marijuana in the past 30 days.1

Marijuana and the teen brain3 Unlike adults, the teen brain is actively developing and often will not be fully developed until the mid 20s. Marijuana use during this period may harm the developing teen brain. Problems with memory and learning.

Impaired coordination. Difficulty maintaining attention.

Difficulty thinking and problem solving.

Research shows that marijuana use can have permanent effects on the developing brain when use begins in adolescence, especially with regular or heavy use.2

Negative effects on school and social life Marijuana use in adolescence or early adulthood can have a serious impact on a teen’s life.

Frequent or long-term marijuana use is linked to school dropout and lower educational achievement.3 1 in 6 teens who repeatedly use marijuana can become addicted. - CDC

2X-3X

The teen years are a time of rapid growth, exploration, and onset of risk taking. Taking risks with new behaviors provides kids and teens the opportunity to test their skills and abilities and discover who they are. But, some risk behaviors—such as using marijuana—can have harmful and long-lasting effects on a teen’s health and well-being.

Decline in school performance. Students who use marijuana may get lower grades and may be more likely to drop out of high school than their peers who do not use.4

Impaired driving. Driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is dangerous. Marijuana negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving, such as reaction time, coordination, and concentration. 7, 8

Increased risk of mental health issues. Marijuana use has been linked to a range of mental health problems in teens such as depression or anxiety.5 Psychosis has also been seen in teens at higher risk like those with a family history.6

Potential for addiction. Research shows that about 1 in 6 teens who repeatedly use marijuana can become addicted, which means that they may make unsuccessful efforts to quit using marijuana or may give up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana. - CDC

References Marijuana is 2-3 times more potent today.

1.

2.

- AACAP 3.

4.

DuPage County Illinois Youth Survey, 2016. https://iys. cprd.illinois.edu/UserFiles/Servers/Server_178052/ File/2016/Cnty16_DuPage.pdf National Institute on Drug Abuse. What are marijuana’s long-term effects on the brain? 2016 [cited 2016 November 16, 2016]; Available from: https://www. drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/ marijuana/how-does-marijuana-use-affect-your-brainbody. Fergusson, D.M. and J.M. Boden, Cannabis use and later life outcomes. Addiction, 2008. 103(6): p. 969-76; discussion 977-8. Broyd, S.J., et al., Acute and Chronic Effects of Cannabinoids on Human Cognition-A Systematic Review. Biol Psychiatry, 2016. 79(7): p. 557-67.

5.

6.

7. 8. 9.

Copeland, J., S. Rooke, and W. Swift, Changes in cannabis use among young people: impact on mental health. Curr Opin Psychiatry, 2013. 26(4): p. 325-9. Arseneault, L., et al., Cannabis use in adolescence and risk for adult psychosis: longitudinal prospective study. BMJ, 2002. 325(7374): p. 1212-3. Bondallaz, P., et al., Cannabis and its effects on driving skills. Forensic Sci Int, 2016. 268:p.92-102. Hartman, R.L. and M.A. Huestis, Cannabis effects on driving skills. Clin Chem, 2013. 59(3):p. 478-92. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction 2014 [cited 2016 December 29].


DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team 2824 Wheatland Court Naperville, IL 60564

Join other parents, high school and middle school students and professionals to learn about issues facing today’s youth. The Glenbard Parent Series engages top experts, parents and school staff to become proactive and informed in pursuit of the mutual goal to strengthen our communities. Programs are free and open to the public, no registration required. Details at glenbardgps.org

THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019

Never Enough: From Drug Addict to Neuroscientist Professor Judith Grisel & Distinguished Panel: Hon. Robert Berlin and Tim Ryan 7pm at Glenbard East High School

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Art Markham The Brain Science to Motivate, and Problem Solve for High Stakes Testing and More 7pm at Glenbard South High School

THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019

Nic Stone, author Community Read: Dear Martin 7pm at Glenbard North High School

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2019

Dr. Jill Walsh The Good, the Bad and the Confusing: Understanding the Teen Social Media Landscape 7pm at Glenbard South High School

Upcoming Speakers and Books for the 2019-2020 Program Year

David Grann

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Rachel Simmons

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Ross Greene

Francesca Gino

Jess Shatkin

For questions, contact Gilda Ross at (630) 469-9100 or gilda_ross@glenbard.org

Profile for Deanna Johnson

YC Mag, DuPage - March 2019  

YC Mag, DuPage - March 2019