One of the most common sentiments from youth in Andover since the forum and AHS Challenge Day, was that young people in town are under a great deal of pressure. Sources of the pressure included sports, parents, school and relationships. As we move forward with the community conversation about the health & well-being of young people in Andover, we must confront and find ways to alleviate the pressure placed upon our children.
Andover has lost one of its own too soon. Kelly Johnson was a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student and a member of this community. In an effort to begin healing, conversation and loving support for the emotions and feelings swirling in all of us, we would like to invite everyone to the Old TownHall, 20 Main St. Andover Friday January 9th between 7-10pm to be together in a open and caring environment. We encourage you to come as you are and bring with you your loving memories, mementos and photographs to share. There will be food, music and plenty of hugs to go around. We ask that you speak with your kids about this, attend with them and spread this message. If you have any questions or need to talk with someone, please call the Youth Services office, 978-623-8241.
There will also be a celebration of Kelly's life on Saturday, January 10th at St. Augustine's Church beginning at 12pm. The family encourages all to attend.
This is about all of us.
With Love & Kindness - The AYS Family
Andover Youth Services, in conjunction with Andover Police Dept., hosted a presentation regarding the current trends in teen drug use in our community. Featured speaker will be Melissa Weiksnar, a Carlisle mother, shared her daughter's story of substance abuse. "Despite my undergrad from MIT and two Masters, four years ago I was clueless about the extent of this epidemic," Weiksnar says, determined to educate families based on her experience.
Topics discussed included: the prevalence of drugs in the Andover area, the signs of drug use in your home, where individuals are getting the drugs, and consequences. Local substance abuse organizations were on hand to provide advice and information.
The forum was extremely well attended with over 250 people in the standing room only crowd. The forum was the first step in a community conversation about the issue and how we can address it.
You may view the forum by clicking this link.