When it comes to developing a club for youth it can be difficult at first to develop a following and get youth involved. Add to that the fact that it is a drug-free club and youth sometimes shy away for fear they won’t be seen as cool if they join. However, Drug Free Cecil has just what you need to get your drug-free club for youth off the ground and running smoothly. They are going to share some of their successes and how they have been able to keep their youth engaged and help improve the local community along the way.
Virgil Boyshaw, Beth Creek & Erin Hamson
Virgil Boysaw, Jr., a native of Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Gambrills, Maryland, currently serves as the Cecil County, Drug-Free Coordinator for the Cecil County Health Department. He served in management in both the private sector and the public sector for over 35 years.
Virgil holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Bowie State University. His professional work experiences have prepared him to serve in the areas of leadership and administration. Before working in Cecil County, Virgil served as the Director of Juvenile Services for the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families. He was responsible for the oversight of the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Initiative that addressed the rate of minority representation in the juvenile justice system and the Community Conferencing grant that allowed victims, offenders, and their respective supporters to resolve their own conflicts safety and in their own communities. Also, Virgil served as the Prevention Services Program Manager for the Maryland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration (at the time, the Single State Agency-SSA), and Program Supervisor for the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. Virgil managed both the Maryland Prevention Block Grant, the Maryland Strategic Prevention Framework Grant (both from SAMHSA), and monitored the Maryland College Drinking Initiative. In addition, he managed several community-based initiatives including the Disaster Relief Initiative (Fort Meade, Maryland); the Anne Arundel County Hotspot Initiative (Severn, Maryland); and the Strengthening Families Initiative (county-wide).
Virgil was the National Prevention Network representative for the State of Maryland, served on the Prevention Status Reports (PSRs) on Excessive Alcohol Use (EAU) Project, and is currently a member of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Advisory Committee and a Prevention Consultant for the State Targeted Response-Technical Assistance Consortium (STR-TA).
Virgil has adopted the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Beth Creek is the Executive Director of Youth Empowerment Source, known locally as YES. Working with nearly a thousand youth annually, YES has designed intervention and prevention programs to meet the specific needs of at-risk children, youth, and families in Cecil County, MD. A former classroom teacher, she has worked in youth-serving non-profit agencies for nearly a decade. Beth also serves in leadership roles with several local coalitions focused on preventing underage drinking and drug use and is the chairman of Drug-Free Cecil.