It has been a pleasure to be your Chair for these last four years. In those four years, we have hired an executive director and an advocacy/outreach coordinator, have secured more funding and formalized our strategic plan. CCI has come a long way since its inception in 2009 and we are currently in a much better place than we were just two short years ago.
The reason CCI has been so successful is because all of you have continued to work together, even through the hard times. Together, we have been able to do so much more than just one coalition alone and I don’t expect this to change. I am convinced that our voice is growing more powerful as we continue to connect around the state and address substance abuse issues uniquely and innovatively.
There are a few things that I would like you to remember as we move forward:
- Every single coalition is as different in makeup and regulations as the communities they serve. This is the beauty and the hardest part of what CCI does. Even though we are different in our setup, our mutual goals to prevent substance abuse and make communities better for youth and that is where we find common ground and where we can make the most of CCI’s efforts.
- Remember that the work all of us are doing is important and we need to stay the course and keep fighting. We don’t always see the end result, but we know the end result is important. Think of it like this: sometimes we just plant the seeds and someone else waters the seed and later someone reaps the harvest. Keep, planting and watering and a harvest will come.
- Working at the state level enhances what we are doing at the community level and gives us more traction to keep all of us moving.
- Being a part of CCI has shown me the value of celebrating successes. It hasn’t always been easy, but focusing on what is working and remembering our accomplishments have kept us moving forward instead of stagnating.
In conclusion, I want to thank you all for your work and allowing me the opportunity to Chair CCI. I treasure the relationships and connections that I have built around the state and I am privileged to call you my colleagues and friends. Keep fighting to prevent substance abuse and making Idaho better for our youth.