SoPo Unite is part of the federally funded Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program. The Coalition works to create and sustain a safe, just, and healthy community to prevent youth substance use. The Coalition is made up of key stakeholders in South Portland, as shown below.
The Coalition meets every other month at South Portland High School. The three areas of focus include preventing youth alcohol, marijuana and tobacco use.
SoPo Unite's Subcommittees meet on an ad hoc basis. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Coalition Director Lee Anne Dodge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Voice and Engagement: This group is comprised of over 70 South Portland High School students and 60 Memorial & Mahoney Middle School students. The group meets monthly as separate high school and middle school groups. They focus on promoting healthy choices by connecting with peers through educational presentations and conversations, promoting positive policies and environments within their school and broader community by sharing their voice at community/school meetings, and connecting to the larger community through outreach activities.
Parents/ “Build A Village”: This group brings together representatives from different neighborhoods and cultures within South Portland to address parent and community norms regarding youth substance use.
School Policy/Restorative Practice: This group is comprised of key stakeholders in South Portland schools and broader community to review and revise the school substance use policies to shift towards a restorative approach.
Communications: This group focuses on best ways to communicate substance use prevention messages throughout the entire South Portland community (social media, PSAs, print, etc.).
Ordinances/Laws: This group focuses on best practices in laws and ordinances regarding youth substance use and keeps track of current trends and issues in the community.
In January of 2017, SoPo Unite held a logo contest open to middle and high school students. There were many submissions, but the Youth Subcommittee and the Coalition voted for their favorite. The winners were Lydia Henderson and Maeve Kelley, both SPHS alumna. The original logo and the media ready version can be found above. Look for the logo throughout South Portland!