Informed Families Catalyst

Ambassador Spotlight: Wing Isom of Seminole County

Posted by Informed Families on February 26, 2016 at 11:48 AM

Goldsboro Elementary Magnet School in Sanford, Florida struck gold when they recruited Wing Isom to join the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) over seven years ago. Now, Isom serves as the school’s PTA President and more recently, she has taken on a new role: Informed Families Ambassador.

Calling Isom “an involved parent” is a vast understatement – and calling her an average Informed Families Ambassador would be equally incorrect. Since the fall of 2015, in her short time as an Informed Families Ambassador, Isom has delivered all three Informed Families campaigns (Family Day™, Red Ribbon Week®, and Lock Your Meds®) with great thought, energy and enthusiasm to the children and families at Goldsboro Elementary.

“We all talk about issues facing our children, but I love doing something about them,” said Wing. “As an Informed Families Ambassador, I connect parents at our school with wonderful prevention resources and I try to do it in a way that works best for our particular school.”

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, lock your meds, campaigns, elementary school, seminole county

Congrats To 18 All Star Schools For 2014-2015 School Year

Posted by Informed Families on May 26, 2015 at 2:42 PM

Florida Schools Honored For Prevention Success During 2014-2015 School Year

Go Team! 18 schools across the State of Florida just earned bragging rights for their outstanding efforts to help prevent underage drinking and substance abuse. The All Star Safe, Healthy & Drug Free Schools were selected and recognized by Informed Families.

The schools (listed below) were chosen among hundreds of schools participating in Informed Families’ Ambassador Program for their demonstrated dedication to year-round prevention activities and for their success in actively engaging students, parents and faculty in prevention.

“Spring is the season for school celebrations – and now 18 of the most dedicated schools in Florida have more to celebrate,” said Peggy B. Sapp, President and CEO of Informed Families. “Informed Families All Star Safe, Healthy and Drug Free Schools understand the importance of spreading healthy, drug-free messages to help students and families make good choices surrounding alcohol and other drugs, ultimately saving lives. Our programs are designed to curb underage drinking, substance abuse and other risky behaviors - and the impact is real, thanks to the involvement of schools across Florida – and especially our All Star Schools.”

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, elementary school, homestead, middle school

Ambassador Spotlight: Sonia Ambrose

Posted by Informed Families on April 22, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Spend two minutes with Sonia Ambrose and you will instantly sense her unlimited passion for helping students thrive in school and in life.

“I find my job to be very rewarding,” said Ambrose. “I love being a school counselor and helping children succeed.”

As a counselor at Irving & Beatrice Peskoe K-8 Center in Homestead, Sonia offers students support, helps them build skills and works to resolve issues, all with the goal of helping them blossom to reach their full potential. Among the tools she uses to accomplish this goal are the materials given to her by Informed Families as part of the Ambassador Program.

“I was delighted to learn about the Ambassador Program last year at a county-wide training session with other school counselors,” said Ambrose. “I am always looking for great programs to help our students and families, so I immediately signed up.”

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, elementary school, homestead, middle school

Ambassador Spotlight: Anne Lewis of Baker County

Posted by Informed Families on March 11, 2015 at 8:50 PM

When children in Baker County introduce Anne Lewis as “the drug lady,” parents sometimes get the wrong idea. For over 25 years, Lewis has dedicated her life to educating children about prevention in her small rural county, where underage drinking, tobacco and marijuana use are her biggest concerns.

“I’m now teaching the children of some of my very first students,” says Lewis.

As Baker County Schools' prevention coordinator, Anne visits each of the schools, delivers curriculum, sponsors service clubs, organizes summer leadership camps and manages the county’s overall prevention efforts.

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Topics: Family Day, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, high school, elementary school

Connector Spotlight: Deborah Montilla

Posted by Informed Families on February 23, 2015 at 4:14 PM

"Connectors" are dedicated volunteers who share Informed Families' prevention message with their vast network of contacts to help expand the organization's reach. Deborah Montilla, executive director of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Division of Student Services and Vice Chairman of the Informed Families Board of Trustees, is a Connector extraordinaire and this month's spotlighted Connector.

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, high school, orlando

Ambassador Spotlight: Sonia Ledger of Cypress Creek High

Posted by Informed Families on January 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

Sonia Ledger, Student Assistance and Family Empowerment Coordinator at Cypress Creek High School in Orlando, works with a team of 12-15 student volunteers to deliver Informed Families' year-round prevention messages to their peers at every possible opportunity.

"We educate students and parents together during parent nights, we establish a presence at football games and other events, and we've even interacted with audience members during intermission at school plays," says Ledger. "We want to reach people where they are."

Sonia is being recognized in our Ambassador Spotlight for her commitment and success in educating and empowering over 3,000 students at the high school each year.

Ledger participates in each campaign and works with her teen volunteers to creatively and strategically navigate the school environment to reach as many students and parents as possible. Ledger possesses the will, drive and determination to prevent students from engaging in substance abuse and other risky behaviors. Furthermore, Ledger's passion for the work inspires us to continue to provide the best resources possible to our Ambassadors.

Whenever a new Informed Families Ambassador Tool Kit becomes available, Sonia can hardly contain her excitement.

"I'm very enthusiastic about receiving the latest toolkit," says Ledger, who is in her second year as an Ambassador at Cypress Creek High School in Orlando. "There's so much great information that you provide and I love the campaign materials."

Thank you, Sonia, for your dedication to helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.


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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, high school, orlando

Florida Memorial Dean Demonstrates The Power Of Red Ribbon

Posted by Informed Families on November 23, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Valerie Hall firmly believes in the power of Red Ribbon Week. Hall, Interim Dean of Students and Criminal Justice Professor at Florida Memorial University (FMU), is passionate about delivering the “Love Yourself. Be Drug Free.” message to FMU’s diverse student population in her classroom and school wide. With the full support of FMU President Dr. Rosalyn Clark-Artis, Hall organized Red Ribbon Week activities for students at the University. No stranger to prevention, Dean Hall has worked with Informed Families for the last seven years to deliver healthy messages to youth in the South Florida Community.  

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, university, college students, ambassadors

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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