FOCUS Monthly Newsletter
January 2022
The staff at FOCUS wish for all of our schools a productive and life-changing Year 2022. With the pandemic still lurking and schools reluctant to host assemblies, guest speakers, and in-house training, we have several opportunities for growth and education for your students online. The Student Leadership Training Videos by Kent Julian are still available on the facilitator portal of our website. We have two valuable resources for Zoom or in-person presentations. Mrs. Kim Bailey ( is available on a variety of topics of adolescent risk behaviors, and our January Alumnus of the Month, Miss Claire Hendrickson, Miss UNA, is available to bring awareness to the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Her Miss Alabama/Miss America platform is “Check On Your Friends Before They Check Out.” Contact if you wish to schedule Miss Hendrickson.

As always, we are here to assist you in any way possible to bring awareness and education to the youth of your schools and communities.
Happy New Year!
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!
Check out APC and FOCUS' Holiday Underage Drinking - Youth Targeted Prevention Media Campaign
The campaign was run 100% on Snapchat targeting ages 13-20. We served 263,000 impressions and 2,025 people swiped up on the ad! That’s an average of .77% engagement rate. 100% of the ads served across Alabama and 100% of impressions were served to the targeted audience.
Alumnus of the Month
Every month we will highlight
one of FOCUS' alumni!
2022 is off to an exciting start for our Alumnus of the Month, Claire Hendrickson! Claire, a former Jacksonville High School FOCUS President, has been crowned Miss University of North Alabama, an official preliminary for the Miss Alabama/Miss America. She is a scholarship recipient, award-winning member of the UNA ROAR Dance Team, and is an aspiring news reporter majoring in mass communication with a focus in journalism and digital media. 

Although Claire is a busy college sophomore, the mission of FOCUS has continued to remain close to her heart. In fact, Claire’s Miss UNA platform, “Check On Your Friends Before They Check Out,” is her effort to bring awareness to the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Claire states that “suicide is silently suffocating those around us. Recognizing the warning signs and risk factors is crucial in order to save lives. Although preventative measures are widely discussed, it’s not the first step. The reason suicide is a silent killer has a lot to do with the lack of recognition and intervention. I plan to specifically focus on the importance of knowing the signs someone might have if they are suicidal. I will educate the community on how to identify and address different risk factors, and I want to encourage and empower people to check on others without fear of overstepping.” 

Claire also shares that she has personally seen lives change for the better because of the FOCUS program. As she begins her year of service by speaking in schools, with community leaders, and organizing educational events, her goal is to educate and equip individuals with the tools they need to assess, intervene and save a life! As a representative of the University of North Alabama, Claire plans to encourage FOCUS programs across Alabama to work toward this goal as well as advocating for student-led prevention. Claire feels strongly about this and states that “every school in Alabama should have a FOCUS program. FOCUS has taught me that checking in on others could be the one thing that changes someone’s day for the better or even save someone’s life!”

We are so proud of Claire’s platform, and we wish her the best as she serves, shares and advocates for FOCUS programs in schools. We also look forward to cheering her on when she competes in the Miss Alabama pageant this summer. In the meantime, you can join her Instagram page, “checkonyourfriends_initiative@clairehendrickson.” If you’re interested in having Claire speak with your students in person or virtually, then contact the Miss UNA Director, Rebecca Bush.
Phone: 256-765-4792 
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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.

  • January 1-31--National Birth Defects Prevention Month
  • January 1-31--National Blood Donor Month
  • January 11--National Human Trafficking Awareness Day


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