The Lake of the Woods County Prevention Coalition recently established its vision of “Creating a community culture that empowers youth to be alcohol, tobacco and drug free.” It takes a dedicated and ever-growing team of people working together to realize this vision. This week’s LWPC Spotlight features Corrections Agent for Lake of the Woods Drug Court and coalition member, Kelly Hagen.
Why do you feel passionate about the youth in our community?
Kelly: I feel that the youth are the future of our community and our country at large. Who knows what one of our young people will go on to do? If they get caught up in the drug culture or start drinking at an early age, it could permanently damage any chance they may have at future success. I want to do all I can to make sure our youth are successful so they can reach their full potential.
Why do you feel strongly that the youth in our community should be alcohol, tobacco and drug free?
Kelly: I have worked with corrections, inside the prison system for over 25 years. An extremely high percentage of the offenders in our prison system have some type of drug or alcohol addiction and most of them started at a young age. Even with that said, many offenders are very bright and creative. If they had lived in a community that was free of drugs and alcohol, perhaps their future would have been different. Maybe they would have been able to use their talents toward a positive end as opposed to criminal activity. If we can create a community of youth that are alcohol, tobacco and drug free, I think it just creates more avenues for our youth to use their intelligence and creativity.
What are you most looking forward to learning over the next five years through your involvement in the coalition?
Kelly: I am looking forward to learning more about the community and how everybody works together to have a positive influence. Since we have moved to this community, my wife and I have been very impressed by how friendly people are and how active the community is. It is very refreshing!
What do you most want community members to understand about the coalition?
Kelly: The coalition is interested in the future of the community by working with its youth and the community members. If you have any ideas or suggestions you feel may be beneficial to the coalition and the community, please contact one of the coalition members. The more involvement we have from the community, the more successful we will be in our mission. Please support the coalition by posting advertisements and information. Getting out the word about the mission and vision of the coalition is extremely important.