The Rye YMCA has announced that RyeACT’s five-year Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant has been renewed for a second term. The coalition will receive $625,000 in federal grant funding over the next five years—$125,000 a year — to continue its efforts to prevent substance use and support healthy choices for Rye’s youth.
“As a founding member and fiscal agent of RyeACT, we’re so proud of its accomplishments over the past five years,” stated Rye Y Executive Director Gregg Howells. “Under the leadership of Coalition Coordinator Nancy Pasquale, RyeACT has grown from a small group of concerned residents to a nationally-respected coalition. Most importantly, it has mobilized our community, including our students, around a wide range of health and wellness initiatives.”
Founded in 2014, and galvanized by several teen and young adult overdoses, RyeACT (Rye Action for Children and Teens), received a $75,000 DFC mentorship grant in 2015 and its first five-year grant of $625,000 in 2016. The funding enabled the nonprofit to hire Pasquale as its coordinator and to develop and implement evidence-based programs and educational campaigns.
“It’s so gratifying to see our work recognized on the federal level,” Pasquale remarked. “Thanks to the involvement of many sectors of our community, we’ve moved the needle on youth substance use, including decreases in underage drinking and prescription drug misuse, among others. We have also made tremendous strides growing our RyeACT Youth Action Team, which has been nationally recognized for excellence in youth engagement, including recognition by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the First Lady of the U.S.”
Noting that RyeACT still has much work to do, Pasquale said “this year we’ll continue to focus on the mental health challenges facing our youth, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and social unrest nationally and locally. And, in the wake of marijuana legalization in New York State, we’ll prioritize the message that ‘legal is not safe’ for the developing teen brain.”
For more information about RyeACT, visit www.ryeact.com.