With a commitment to preventing substance abuse across the state of Florida, Hanley Center Foundation is focusing the nonprofits efforts on teen alliances. In addition to the Foundation’s recently launched Twitter handle, “TwinzTweet,” the Foundation is also sponsoring a variety of events, including the prestigious 2016 Pathfinder Awards. Known for recognizing the best and brightest high school seniors in Palm Beach and Martin counties, Pathfinder finalists are a great target audience for an alliance with the Foundation. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on May 10, 2016 at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.
“We want to go where the teens are,” said Kae Jonsons, Hanley Center Foundation CEO. “When you hear statistics like, ‘by the time a child turns 18 he or she will have been exposed to more than 500,000 alcohol advertisements,’ you want to know that someone is out there doing their part to combat perception verse reality – and we are doing just that! Our prevention specialists are in schools across the state of Florida every day, providing evidence-based, age-appropriate education. But we want to do more, which is why we are building strong partnerships and coming up with innovative opportunities to reach teens. The 2016 Pathfinder Awards is a perfect complement to our mission, and an important opportunity to reach teen leaders in our community. It is only through alliances with teen leaders like the Pathfinder Awards finalists that we can continue to spread and encourage this message. We know they will lead the way in many avenues of their life after high school, and we hope one of those ways is to set good and healthy examples with regards to drugs and alcohol.”
The Pathfinder High School Scholarship Awards are presented each year to high school seniors in Palm Beach and Martin counties who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in 18 academic, vocational and athletic categories. Sponsored by The Palm Beach Post, the awards are presented each year to recognize excellence and to encourage students to one day bring their considerable talents to the communities where each received a start on the path to a good education and a rewarding career.
“In order to empower and encourage healthy habits – and meet the teens on a platform they enjoy – the Foundation recently launched a Twitter handle called ‘TwinzTweet,’” continued Jonsons. “With the goal of continuing our prevention education conversations beyond the classroom, ‘TwinzTweet’ is a healthy lifestyle resource for teens and their friends. Teens can find messages of encouragement and reinforcement that most of their peers are not drinking or engaging in risky behaviors.”
“TwinzTweet” is managed by two of the Foundation’s prevention specialists, who have been nicknamed “the twins.” Abby Hamilton and Ashleigh Lentz, who aren’t related, have many similarities, including a strong passion for educating youth about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, bubbly personalities and engaging presentation styles. All of these qualities are said to resonate well with the students they interact with – both in person and through the popular social media platform.
“’TwinzTweet’ is quickly gaining in popularity, as we have created a safe platform for students who have questions,” said Hamilton. “Positive peer pressure is so powerful, and identifying teen leaders, like the Pathfinder finalists, is key to spreading our message about prevention. Prevention is a successful strategy to save lives.”
Established more than 30 years ago by Mary Jane and Jack Hanley, Hanley Center Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to give hope to individuals, families and communities affected by alcoholism and drug addiction through access to high quality treatment, education, family support and community prevention programs.
College scholarships are available for the Pathfinder Awards winners in the amounts of $4,000 for the first-place winner, $3,000 for the second-place winner, $2,500 for the third-place winner and $2,000 to the fourth-place winner in each category. Top winners in each category will also receive the special “astrolabe” trophy, a symbol for the path each student may follow in the world and the leadership and direction each may provide for others in the future.
For more information about Hanley Center Foundation and its prevention education, please call 561-841-1212 or visit hanleycenterfoundation.org. For more information about the Pathfinder Awards, please visit www.palmbeachpost.com/pathfinder.