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California youth advocacy group receives $1 million grant

Alcohol Justice seeks to expand the Youth For Justice program with the grant money, seeking to uplift the youth of historically marginalized communities in CA.

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Advocacy groups Alcohol Justice & Youth For Justice have announced that they have been awarded a $1 million grant towards after school programs and substance abuse prevention education for Latino students and their families across the Canal District of San Rafael, California.

The Youth For Justice program is guided by their “Four-Pillars Philosophy” of Health and Healing, Culture and History of Latinos/Indigenous Peoples, Nature Connection, and Community Organizing to Prevent Alcohol and Other Drug Harm.

In addition, they also host activities such as group volunteer work to clean up litter and study halls for students.

"We are so grateful to receive these funds that will allow us to expand our community organizing efforts to help even more Canal residents prevent substance use disorder," said Maite Durán, Director of Programs for Youth For Justice, in a statement.

The money is a part of Elevate Youth California's $58.5 million push in providing its partners with funding to help prevent youth substance abuse, providing up to $1 million to its 61 partner organizations, with this grant being awarded over the course of three years.

"An exciting major goal of our program is to train youth leaders to help create local policy that will reduce the impact of seductive marketing on youth alcohol consumption," said Durán. 

"This goal allows project participants to be involved in advocacy, community organizing, and substance use prevention education to make a positive change in their community,” she continued.

Marlin County is one of the richest counties in California, but has been historically segregated between its wealthy, white homeowners and the immigrant and largely Spanish speaking community that calls the area home. Of the youth living in Canal, 22% are below the poverty line.

"This award is [a] well-deserved acknowledgement of ten dedicated years of hard work that Maite Durán and her team have devoted to building the Youth For Justice program," said Cruz Avila, Executive Director at Alcohol Justice, in a statement.

 "It is also very encouraging to know that the value it is delivering to Canal residents will continue to grow and make this community healthier and safer. We are honored and blessed to be supported by Elevate Youth California," he continued.

Supporters of the Youth for Justice program include the San Rafael Alcohol and Drug Coalition, the Juvenile Probation Department of Marin County, the Marin Prevention Program, and Alcohol Justice.

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