Youth Development

Youth Mental Health & Wellness – a Town Hall for Parents

The Community Alliance 4 Youth Success is hosting a town hall meeting for parents about Youth Mental Health and Wellness. The town hall is free to the public and will be held on Tuesday, October 4, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at the MidMichigan Medical Center’s Towsley Auditorium. This event coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, which is the first full week of October. The town hall was prompted by findings of the 2016 Midland County Youth Study conducted by The Legacy Center, which indicated an increase in risk-taking behaviors of depression, suicide attempts and eating disorders among 6th – 12th graders. In the same study, students also reported decreases in Developmental Assets related to Positive Identity, including personal power, self-esteem, sense of purpose, and positive view of personal future. Panelists for the town hall include Sharon Mudd, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, University of Michigan Depression Center; Kim Sumerix, Youth Services Coordinator/Outpatient Therapist, Family and Children’s Services; and Jackie Warner, Youth Intervention Specialist, Community Mental Health for Central Michigan and 42nd Circuit Court, Family Division. “Our goal is to give parents the knowledge and tools they need to support their children, identify problems early on and find the resources they need right here in our community,” says Jennifer Heronema, President and Chief Executive of The Legacy Center. About Community Alliance 4 Youth Success The Community Alliance 4 Youth Success, an affiliate of The Legacy Center, is a group of local community leaders who are focused on preventing teen substance abuse. Preventing alcohol, marijuana and other drug use is no easy task, but the coalition has demonstrated that when all sectors of the community come together, social change happens. For more information, visit the coalition website at More details about Developmental Assets can be found on The Legacy Center website at

New Online Resource for Parents of Midland Tweens/Teens

Today, The Legacy Center launched a new website to support the prevention efforts of the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success (Coalition). The website – – will serve as a useful tool for parents of 6th through 12th graders who want to learn more about Developmental Assets, as well as emerging alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug trends in Midland County. “There is a significant amount of misinformation on the internet and television about these substances – especially marijuana,” says Jennifer Heronema, coalition director and president of The Legacy Center. “We want parents to have a place where they can read about the latest trends, learn about the risks (short and long term) and gain access to tools that will help them encourage their child to make positive life choices and avoid risky behavior.” As visitors review the site, they will find information about: Developmental Assets – What they are and how to instill them Alcohol, Marijuana and Prescription Drugs – Appearance, Impact and Resources Dump Your Drugs! – Dates for Collection of Unused/Expired Prescription Drugs Town Hall Meetings – Marijuana, Alcohol and Social Media About Us/Get Involved – The Coalition and Youth Committee Get Help – Support for parents who think their child might have a problem In addition to the items listed above, the website will host a number of blog-type articles to keep parents informed (e.g. why kids use drugs, drugs and brain development, tips for talking with your child if you suspect drug use, teens and social media, and drugged driving.) Parents are encouraged to submit questions via email, and staff will work with local officials to get answers and post updates to the site. The Community Calendar is, perhaps, the most exciting feature of the site. The calendar is designed to allow youth-serving organizations to quickly […]

Midland Attorney appointed Director, Michigan School Justice-Partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Midland Attorney appointed Director, Michigan School Justice-Partnership MIDLAND MI (January 16, 2014) – The Legacy Center for Community Success announced today that Midland attorney, Angela M. Cole, has been appointed Director of the Michigan School-Justice Partnership project. The role was made possible through a $100,000 grant to The Legacy Center from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. In this role, Cole will lead a statewide effort to reduce the “school to prison pipeline” in Michigan. “We are fortunate to have a person of Angela’s experience and background leading this effort,” said Jennifer Heronema, President and CEO of The Legacy Center. “She will be able to identify evidence-based models and best practices and rapidly disseminate them across the statewide network resulting in a broad collective impact.” A two-day summit was recently held in Ann Arbor of experts on juvenile justice, law enforcement,  juvenile judges, education, mental health, social services and other youth serving agencies across Michigan. Participants from 73 counties heard national and state speakers including Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan Supreme Court Justices Mary Beth Kelly and Bridget M. McCormack, Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan, and Department of Education Superintendent Michael Flanagan. Dorene S. Allen, Midland County Probate and Juvenile Judge, the summit chair, indicated that “kids who are suspended or expelled are more likely to drop out altogether, and when they drop out, the likelihood that they’ll get involved in some kind of criminal activity increases dramatically. The statistics are chilling; of Michigan prisoners, 49 percent do not have a high school diploma or a GED. This pattern is so common it is being called the ‘school to prison pipeline’.” The summit developed a three-year “Michigan School-Justice Partnership” plan with three objectives; keeping kids in school, achieving higher graduation rates, and reducing delinquency. […]

Alliance Hosts Teen Parties at Plymouth Pool

The Community Alliance for Youth Success has been hosting a series of parties for Midland area teens at Plymouth Pool this summer. Two events already have taken place, with the third and final party scheduled for August 22nd from 8:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Music, snacks, games and prizes are provided. These events are free and are for high school students only with photo ID required. Party @ Plymouth Pool offers area high school students an opportunity to have fun in an alcohol- and drug-free environment. Plymouth Pool lifeguards, agency staff and volunteers interact with the teens throughout the event. Teens get a chance to experience Plymouth Pool at night with their friends, as well as meet other teens from the Midland community. The pool is closed to the general public during the parties. These events exist through partnership with the City of Midland, Midland Area Partnership for Drug Free Youth and The ROCK Youth Center. Party @ Plymouth Pool events would not be possible without the generous sponsorship from The Creek Grill and B-Xtreme Cycle and Sport, along with help from our community volunteers. For more information contact Midland Area Partnership for Drug-Free Youth at 989.835-8699 or via email  

Developmental Assets Immunize Youth Against Risky Behaviors

“A stitch in time saves nine.” “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” These are but two of many familiar adages regarding the value of prevention over treatment. Most of us organize many of our daily activities and habits around this concept. For example, we brush our teeth to avoid cavities, change oil in our cars to avoid costly engine repairs, and become immunized against many formerly crippling or even fatal diseases such as Polio, Yellow Fever, Typhus and the like. But can a teenager be “immunized” against risk-taking behaviors? This intriguing possibility arose from a 2006 study conducted by The Legacy Center for Community Success (TLC) using the concept of Developmental Assets originated by the Minneapolis-based Search Institute. Developmental Assets are a series of 40 positive character traits or qualities that all adolescents should possess. Twenty of them are defined as External in that they describe a youth’s relationships with family, school, community and the like. The remaining 20 are said to be Internal in that they portray intrinsic qualities such as honesty, self-esteem, integrity, etc. In the 2006 study, TLC found that the more Developmental Assets teens possess, the fewer the number of risk-taking behaviors in which they participate. As indicated in Figure 1, teens with 31-40 Assets participated in fewer than one of the 24 risk-taking behaviors studied. At the other end of the spectrum, youth with 0-10 Assets were involved in an average of 8.8 risk-taking behaviors. These intriguing results strongly suggested that if teens were instilled with the Developmental Assets they become essentially “immune” from risk-taking behaviors. This “immunization” idea was all the more interesting because extensive research indicates that the conventional strategy of trying to curb risky behaviors by speaking to their negative consequences is not very effective. The gains from […]

Rock Youth Center Program Encourages Youth To Make Good Choices

The ROCK Youth Center’s three-year effort to build developmental assets and encourage youth to make good choices is paying off, according to an independent program analysis conducted by The Legacy Center for Community Success. “About three years ago, we began searching for a practical way to assist young people in discovering themselves,” says Beverlee Wenzel, executive director for The ROCK Youth Center in Midland, Mich. “Out of that search came ROCK Exposure and an important program called Exposure PX2 R.” The PX2 program hones in on encouraging individuals to make smart choices, choose right from wrong, and better themselves as young adults. R addresses critical concepts and skills that young adults need to better themselves in the future. When the two programs are paired together, it creates a well-rounded approach to help students succeed in life. The Legacy Center evaluated the students using the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP), designed by the Search Institute in Minneapolis, Minn. Developmental Assets are defined as being 40 common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults. Research has shown that when Developmental Assets are increased, risk-taking behavior decreases. The DAP is designed to provide a standardized description of an individual’s Developmental Assets as they perceive them. “Asset building is one of the five strategic goals in the Midland County Youth Master Plan. This particular goal focuses on developing assets through social opportunities, mentoring programs, enhanced life experiences, and increased involvement in sports and fitness programs.” says Jennifer Heronema, president and chief executive officer of The Legacy Center. The DAP survey was administered before and after the program to approximately 94 male and female students. As a group, the students scored higher in all eight developmental asset categories after participating in the ROCK […]

Middle School Fall Frenzy

  Calling all middle school students!   The Middle School Fall Frenzy will be held on November 10th, 2012 from 7:30PM-10:30PM at the Midland Civic Arena. Your student can enjoy a safe, fun Saturday evening with their friends by participating in activies such as Lazer Tag, Unlimited Ice Skating, Broomball, and much more! Admission is 5 dollars and a photo ID is required!