#RichlandGives Spotlight: Community Action for Capable Youth
CACY-Community Action for Capable Youth is a nonprofit agency with the mission of providing education to prevent substance abuse, bullying, and problem gambling in youth and to promote a safe and healthy community for all ages. Efforts to address concerns about the use of drugs and alcohol in the community began with a group of concerned Richland County parents, counselors and school administrators in 1978.
Growing in community involvement and expanding multiple prevention program areas, CACY intensified its efforts by hiring trained, certified educators using evidence-based curriculums to teach prevention education to both adults and students in Richland County and the surrounding areas. CACY’s programs and curriculum help young people develop healthy self-worth, realize the value in others, and cultivate support for their community, encouraging them to make positive, healthy lifestyle choices for a stronger community and brighter future.
One of the oldest surviving county-wide grassroots prevention coalitions recognized at both state and federal levels, CACY continues to offer, develop, implement, facilitate and coordinate tobacco, alcohol, and drug prevention, as well as problem gambling, violence and bullying prevention programs. Monthly electronic newsletters on prevention topics, Drug-Free Workplace training to meet Bureau of Workers Compensation requirements and participation in community events and health fairs, are just a few of the ways CACY offers invaluable resources to the community.
CACY is involved in youth prevention services, including in-school and after-school programs, providing up-to-date information and training to students to help develop healthy decision making, improve empathy and build refusal skills. Individual and group tobacco cessation, or Not One Puff (NOP) program, is available to both youth and adults. Public training and workshops on trending prevention topics are available throughout the year. In addition, CACY works with other community agencies and law enforcement to provide resource materials designed to support community awareness and ensure underage substance law compliance.
CACY is primarily supported through funding from the Richland County Mental Health Board and United Way of Richland County. The opportunity to participate in Richland Gives in previous years has allowed CACY to purchase individual student workbooks and program materials to interactively engage them in activities to internalize prevention concepts, which is critical in delivering a sustainable prevention message. As a Richland Gives participant, CACY will continue to invest in valuable hands-on materials and teaching tools in an effort to continue our mission to develop the next generation of healthy and cable adults who make Richland County a great place to live.