2021 Difference Maker Award
This has been a challenging school year filled with uncertainty regarding extracurricular activities and implementing prevention activities. As many teachers across Alabama continue to struggle with blended schedules, virtual learning, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, they are keeping the whole child as a priority. Peer-to-peer learning and successful prevention activities are needed now more than ever before and our FOCUS Facilitators are rising to the task! 

To recognize these outstanding teachers. we are encouraging you to nominate your FOCUS Facilitator as the 2021 "Difference Maker!" The Facilitator chosen as the "Difference Maker" will receive $1,000 cash to be used however they choose. The "Difference Maker" will be chosen based on their school's activities, their level of involvement with FOCUS, and the creation of successful prevention activities and events. All nominations must be received by 5:00pm on April 24, 2021.

Click the button below to visit our website for more information!
April 10 is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day
We are here to help you plan your awareness events. Resources are available on the FOCUS Facilitator Portal. 
Even though visiting your school in person is not possible at this time, we would love to visit virtually to see what you and your students are doing to provide student-led prevention of adolescent risk behaviors through FOCUS and Peer Helping! If interested, please complete the form so that a member of the FOCUS staff may visit with your students virtually and see the amazing activities being planned in your school. Use the Google Form to contact us if you would like additional FOCUS Facilitator Training.
Beyond the Sidelines: Breaking the Stigma of Addiction
Check out this amazing link to view the documentary Beyond the Shadows and the fantastic conversation that followed with Jim Dunaway and Dr. Stephen Taylor.

Please share this link with anyone who is struggling to know they are not alone in their journey, as well as anyone you think would find this information helpful. You'll also find additional information for the organizations mentioned in the program.

Lauren invites you to follow her on FacebookInstagram or Twitter to stay in touch and learn more about how we can make a difference and end the stigma of addiction.
Alumnus of the Month
Every month we will highlight one of FOCUS' alumni!
Our February Alumnus of the Month is Kayla Johnson!

Kayla Johnson from Birmingham graduated from Wenonah High School where she was the Vice President of her 11th grade class and then the next year was Senior Class President. She was a cheer co-captain for two years and served as the Executive Director of Queens Come Forth Ministries, Inc. She was involved with FOCUS in high school for three years and enjoyed every bit of it.

Kayla currently attends Alabama State University with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. While in college she plans to be a part of multiple organizations such as the Student Government Association and the cheer team. She plans to start her own organization called the “Start of New Life.” This program will help to teach and prepare freshman students for their first year of college. Kayla shared, “As I entered my freshman year of college, I was not all the way prepared for the journey which is why I want to start a program to help other students.” Kayla wants to continue being a part of FOCUS and help make a difference in other students’ lives.
Thank you for "Making a Difference"! 
Facilitators are receiving their free FOCUS merchandise and materials this month for students. We appreciate each facilitator who continues to offer opportunities for students to contribute to building a healthier future. We promote positive peer-to-peer interactions and believe this is a vital component in improving the health of our students. 

FOCUS values continued partnerships with the following state and community organizations.

Alabama Department of Public Health
Alabama Department of Education
Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health
Addiction Prevention Coalition
Children's Policy Council
Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
Connect with FOCUS!
Stay up to date on everything that is happening with FOCUS by following us on social media! Don't hesitate, follow us today!