FOCUS Monthly Newsletter
February 2022
5 Daily Habits of Highly Successful Student Leaders
by Kent Julian
"If you want to achieve the big things as a student leader — like amazing relationships, accomplishing your organization’s goals, and cultivating real impact — then focus on doing the little things right day in and day out. By doing the little things right day in and day out, the big things you want to see happen are practically guaranteed!"

Click the button below to read about the 5 little habits the most successful leaders practice to achieve their big results. 
National Drug and Alcohol Prevention Week
March 21-27
Join NIDA for NDAFW and help share facts about drugs, alcohol, and addiction in your community. Sign up for emails from NDAFW for the latest news, planning tips, and free resources to support your NDAFW activities and other efforts.

For your event to be an official NDAFW event, you MUST complete the registration form below.
2022 Difference Maker Award
NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN for the 2022 "Difference Maker of the Year!" 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 23, 2022.

Click the button below for more information or to nominate a Difference Maker!
On Valentine’s Day, teach kids the importance of love that isn’t romantic
"Valentine’s Day has traditionally focused on romantic love. But it also provides parents with a great opportunity to teach children to understand and appreciate all kinds of relationships. The benefits of healthy interpersonal relationships are far too many to list here, and have impacts on both mental and physical wellbeing."

by Jessica Kendorski, For The Inquirer

To read the full article please click the button below.
Check out APC and FOCUS' - Youth Targeted Prevention Media Campaign
Alumnus of the Month
Every month we will highlight
one of FOCUS' alumni!
Whitney Vance McRae 
February FOCUS Alumnus of the Month

Whitney Vance McRae was an active member of the FOCUS Program at Sylacauga High School and served as President of SHS’ FOCUS Program during her senior year.  

Whitney graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2011 with a B.A. in Elementary Education and K-12 endorsements in English and Math. After teaching middle school math in the Jackson Public School System in Jackson, MS, Whitney earned a Master’s of Science degree in Athletic Administration in 2014. She worked in the athletic department at Mississippi College for nine years, serving as the Assistant Compliance Officer and Academic Advisor for Athletics. Whitney currently works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a Program Analyst. Her responsibilities include creating communication products for the District Commander and other senior leaders, monitoring the status of Vicksburg District projects and developing information for use in briefing Congressional members or other political interests, and overseeing the schedule for fiscal year obligations, expenditures, and milestones. Whitney and her husband, Will, have been married since 2018 and live in Madison, MS.

Whitney shared her experience in FOCUS stating, “The opportunity to serve as SHS’ FOCUS Program President during my senior year allowed me to develop leadership skills, public speaking skills, conflict resolution skills, and gave me a greater compassion for those around me. These skills have proven invaluable to me and helped me as I have navigated through college and various career changes. Even now in my current job, I work for an organization whose main mission is to provide solutions to tough challenges that will benefit the communities within our district and the Nation as a whole. FOCUS provides high school students the chance to leave a lasting impact on their peers while developing skills that will make them a better friend, family member, citizen, and employee.”
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Monthly Health Observances
We encourage all FOCUS schools to engage in at least one health observance activity each month. Each month has some excellent choices for students on your campuses to “Make a Difference” and to encourage their peers to participate.

  • 1-28: American Heart Month
  • 1-28: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

  • 1-31: National Red Cross Month/Blood Drive


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