June 2019 
Highlights & Annoucements
City of Alexandria Celebrates  Champions of Children 

On Wednesday, June 12, the City of Alexandria celebrated the recipients of the 2019 Champions of Children Awards! Please join us in  congratulating  this year's Champions
 of Children awardees for their work supporting improved outcomes for children and youth:
  • Goal 1: Health and Safety
    Shelly Morgan and 
    Candance Hill
  • Goal 2: Academic Success and Career Readiness
    Michael Diggins and 
    Officer Dylan Ignacio
  • Goal 3: Social Connection, Emotional Security and Cultural Competence
    Leigh LaPaglia and 
    Savannah Ferster 
  • Goal 4: Families Empowered to Support the Well-Being of Children Jill Schaub 
Two  of these awardees have close ties to SAPCA - Shelly Morgan and Fredy Martinez.

Ms. Morgan is a  long-time SAPCA volunteer and former Vice Chair  of the SAPCA board.  In the  80's and early 90's, Shelly  
 taught elementary school in a private school in Washington, D.C. However, she stopped working outside the home to be a full-time mom and began volunteering for a variety of activities. Shelly became interested in volunteering with SAPCA when her son developed difficulties with alcohol as a teen. She has been a SAPCA member since it formed in 2008 and served on the Board of Directors for 8 years. She enjoys working with youth through activities such as seminars about the facts and consequences of substance use and outreach during Alcohol Awareness Month.

Mr. Martinez  currently works as Substance Abuse Prevention &  Intervention Services Coordinator for the Alexandria City Public Schools and has served on  SAPCA's Board of Directors since January 2019. Since joining ACPSMr. Martinez has worked to learn about the needs of ACPS students and families and the resources that are available in the community. In just 1.5 years, Mr. Martinez has developed a tiered program for the management of substance abuse referrals received from Truancy Panel and Disciplinary hearings. Additionally, he worked to revise substance abuse related policy and drafted the first regulation of its kind  regarding drugs in schools. Mr. Martinez also developed a tiered system of support from the ground up for substance abuse prevention and intervention and has become sought after by school-based professionals and external community partners.

Virginia ABC Awards Grant to SAPCA

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (Virginia ABC) recently awarded SAPCA with a $10,000 grant to continue its underage drinking and high-risk alcohol use prevention work. This funding will help SAPCA :
  • Hold Project Sticker Shock, an annual youth-led community awareness initiative designed to educate adults who might purchase alcohol legally and provide it to minors. 
  • Provide information about Virginia's Social Host law by continuing to promote the "Parents Who Host, Lose the Most" campaign
  •  Facilitating supportive relationships between youth and caring adults and hosting activities that provide constructive use of time for youth are both protective factors for youth substance use. 
Thank you to our grant partners for your support and collaboration to make these initiatives possible!
  • City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities
  • Alexandria Police Department
  • Alexandria Sheriff's Office
  • Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy
  • City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services

SAPCA and ACAP Celebrate Pride

SAPCA and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP)  had a great time kicking off Pride Month at Alexandria's 2nd annual Pride Fair and talking to the community about our LGBTQ+ inclusive services and resources. The event was held at Beatley Library and featured a wide array of community organizations who are specifically equipped to serve LGBTQ+ residents and their families. ACAP and SAPCA members talked to youth and parents who were looking for opportunities to get involved and wanted to learn more about making healthy life choices or supporting their loved ones to do so. Among the various resources offered by SAPCA, participants were particularly excited to take away drug disposal bags and locking pill bottles. Dozens of each were distributed during the event.   

To learn more about preventing substance abuse among LGBTQ Teens, click here.

#FactOfTheMonth: Tobacco 21 FAQ

What is the new law?
The new law states that a person may not sell to, distribute to, purchase for or permit the purchase of any tobacco, nicotine vapor, or alternative tobacco product to anyone under the age of 21. Also, no one under the age of 21 may purchase, use or possess any tobacco, nicotine vapor, or alternative tobacco product.

What products are affected?
Products affected include any product made of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis and wrappings. Also included are any noncombustible products containing nicotine that use a heating element or a power source to produce vapor from nicotine in a solution or other form. This includes any electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product and any cartridge of nicotine in solution or other form, including JUUL and like products.

What is the penalty for purchase, use or possession by someone under 21?
If an individual under the age of 21 is found in violation of the law, a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for the first violation, not to exceed $250 for a second and subsequent violation will be issued. A court may, as an alternative, require up to 20 hours of community service for the first violation and up to 40 hours of community service for a second and subsequent violation.

What is my role in Tobacco 21?
Adults play an important role in protecting youth from nicotine addiction and the deadly effects of tobacco and nicotine use; they can help prevent our youth from becoming the next generation to die prematurely from tobacco and nicotine-related disease. Adults should not purchase or provide tobacco or nicotine products to anyone under the age of 21.

Have an idea for our next #FactOfTheMonth ? Email Emma Beall at  emma.beall@alexandriava.gov

Winners Selected for Healthy Minds Art Contest

Please join SAPCA and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) in congratulating the winners of the Healthy Minds Art Contest!


First place: Daniel Fox, Hiding Behind Depression

How does this entry relate to mental health topics experienced by teens? What inspired you to enter this contest?
It shows how people hide their depression and act like they are ok even if they aren't. What inspired me to enter this contest was many teens have depression but do not get the help they need.

Second place: Audrey Kwakye, Post Trauma

How does this entry relate to mental health topics experienced by teens? What inspired you to enter this contest?

PTSD effects many of today's youth but it's mostly portrayed by older Americans and veterans.


Third place: Shelby Militzer, Choked and Hollow

How does this entry relate to mental health topics experienced by teens? What inspired you to enter this contest?
This piece relates to mental health issues because on one side it shows a seemingly "normal" person, but then on the other side it shows what it can feel like to have anxiety or depression. I wanted to enter this contest because I have both of these mental illnesses and it was helpful for me to be able to show what it can feel like through my art.

Project Discovery Reception

On June 4, the Project Discovery End of Year Celebration was held at the Vola Lawson Lobby in City Hall. Project Discovery prepares and motivates low income and first generation college-eligible students to access opportunities in higher education. Through workshops and trips to college campuses, Project Discovery provides vital information about how to set and achieve educational goals. This program is supported by a Project Discovery Advisory Board whose mission is to raise funds, promote community involvement and foster positive public relations. At this celebration, the following students received scholarships:
  • Selam Joseph $1000.00
  • Miles Jackson $1000.00
  • Lezema Mamo $1000.00
Miles Jackson was accepted to Virginia State University, Lezena Mamo was accepted to Old Dominion University, and Salem Joseph was accepted to Virginia Commonwealth University. To learn more about Project Discovery, contact Rashad Price at Rashad.Price@alexandriava.gov

Celebrating the T.C. Williams Class of 2019

T.C. Williams High School saw 757 students graduate on Saturday, June 15, w

ith more than a quarter earning a diploma in a language other than their native one. 

A total of 204 students who collected their diplomas at the Eagle Bank Arena at George Mason University received English Learner services during their time as a student with ACPS.  More than 80% of the Class of 2019 have said they will be going on to college in the fall, with 474 students reporting confirmed places. Congratulations, Titans!

Children & Youth Master Plan Updates

This June marks the fifth year of the Children & Youth Master Plan and to celebrate, a report will be released over the summer.  The Report will provide a summary of our community's achievements, contributions to improving children's outcomes, and lessons learned along the way during the first five years of the Children and Youth Master Plan (CYMP).  It will outline the Plan's evolution and progress over time, starting with its development and adoption by City Council in 2014 to the present, and give the reader a glimpse into where we are headed over the next five years.  The Report will be released and celebrated over the summer, generating excitement and galvanizing our City's commitment to  improving outcomes over the next five year with the renewed CYMP 2025.

Youth and adults who are interested in learning how to get involved with the Plan should contact Chelsea Eickert  at  chelsea.eickert@alexandriava.gov.

SummerQuest is Back

Turn reading into an interactive experience this summer with the Alexandria Library's SummerQuest programs. Participants are incentivized to read by earning points for the minutes they log reading over the summer, through September 8. Points can also be collected through numerous other activities. These points can then be used to collect a free book. SummerQuest is open to all children through grade 12. Click here to learn more about this program. 

Upcoming Community Events
Save the Date: 2019 Youth Leadership Conference, August 12-14 

We are a few months away from the 2019 Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference! This free opportunity for rising ninth through twelfth grade students that live in Alexandria will feature a networking session where participants will learn about leadership opportunities for Alexandria youth. Please help us spread the word and nominate teens you work with or encourage them to apply. 

Stay tuned for registration forms! 

Police-Clergy Breakfast

The Alexandria Police Department will be holding a  Social Service-Police-Clergy Breakfast - with a special focus on the West End of Alexandria - on Friday June 28, 2019. This event will occur at the Patrick Henry Elementary School Cafeteria, located at 4643 Taney Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304), from 7:30am to 9:00am. To RSVP for this event, click here. 
Save the Date: July Drug Take Back Day

Our next Drug Take Back Day will happen on Saturday, July 27 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.! Individuals can drop off unused and expired medication at the following locations:
  • Alexandria Police Department HQ (3600 Wheeler Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304) 
  • Alexandria Fire Department (Fire Station 210, 5255 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria VA, 22304)
  • First Baptist Church of Alexandria (2923 King Street, Alexandria VA, 22302)
  • The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray (2204 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22301) 
If you are interested in volunteering at one of the sites for this event, please contact Emma Beall at emma.beall@alexandriava.gov
Resource Spotlight: Helping a Friend in Need

Kognito, a health technology company, provides evidence based interventions that help us improve our ability to discuss health and wellness with our family members and friends. Currently, all TC students have the opportunity to complete the Kognito Friend2Friend module that provides guidance on how to appropriately offer support to a friend experiencing psychological distress, and how to connect their friend with a trusted adult for further support. We know that students often turn to their peers first when facing a problem, and completing this module will provide students with the knowledge and tools needed to help their friends access the systems of support that are in place to meet their mental health needs. Please see flier below.

Applications Open for Teen Law Enforcement Academy

Do you know any teens who may be interested in learning more about the world of law enforcement?? The Alexandria Police Department is hosting another session of the Teen Law Enforcement Academy THIS August! Applications are now available and are to be submitted to Dylan.Ignacio@alexandriava.gov no later than Monday, July 15, 2019. Click here to view a copy of the application. Students can also apply directly online using this link.


To view the Teen Law Enforcement Academy agenda, click here.

Energy Masters Program Seeking Volunteers
Energy Masters is a local program, co-sponsored by EcoAction Arlington and the Virginia Cooperative Extension office, which promotes a more energy efficient and sustainable community by training volunteers in energy efficiency and water conservation techniques. Volunteers give back by performing 25 hours (20 hours for student volunteers) of community service annually by making hands-on improvements in affordable housing units in Alexandria and Arlington that increase energy and water efficiency and engage in community education and outreach. Since the program began in 2011, over 220 volunteers have been trained and have completed improvements in over 950 affordable housing units in our area.
The program is seeking interested students, age 16 and above. There is no fee for student applicants. The program application deadline is in September and training begins in October. Applications and more information can be found here. Questions? Please email Mary Sanders, Energ y Masters Program Coordinator at maryks@vt.edu
Transportation Tips

T.C. Williams has 175 student parking spots available for the 2019-2020 school year for $120 per spot. To apply you must:
  • Apply online at www.acps.k12.va.us/TitanParking
  • Have a valid driver's license at the time of application
  • Submit your application between June 17 and August 16
Class of 2020 students have first priority. Applicants who are in the Class of 2020 will be verified in August. If there are more than 175 applicants from the Class of 2020, applications will be decided by lottery. Students approved will be emailed by August 23, 2019. Parking permits must be picked up by September 6, 2019.
If there are spots remaining after September 6, all other students will be able to apply and placed into a lottery that will happen on September 9, and they will be notified by September 10 if they were selected. For more information, please see flier below.


During the school year, all Alexandria high school students may receive free rides on DASH buses with their Student ID cards during the school calendar year. Students may purchase a summer pass for $50, which is valid until Labor Day. Click here to view DASH schedules and maps.

Interested in getting involved with SAPCA?
Contact Us:
Emma Beall, SAPCA Coordinator
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria 
123 N Pitt St, Suite 225
Alexandria, VA 22314
O: 703.746.3670 
C: 571.302.1022
emma.beall @alexandriava.gov