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StandUP Polk Coalition began in 2005 with a community forum to discuss underage drinking and strategies needed to reduce the growing rates of youth consumption and binge drinking.
In 2006, StandUP Polk (adult coalition) and UthMpact (teen coalition) members met to work together to develop a strategic planning framework that included establishing official mission statements, bylaws, logic model, action plans, and membership recruitment strategies.
Steps were taken to establish community initiative projects such as Social Norming Campaigns, raising awareness, and hosting membership recruitment events.  Funding was provided through a Tobacco grant from the Florida Department of Health, along with SARG grants under the Florida Department of Children and Families.
A substantial amount of funding to support Coalition efforts was awarded in 2010 from the Drug Free Communities Grant, in addition to awards received from partnership groups such as the GiveWell Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland and State Farm.
Currently, the Coalition is extremely strong with hundreds of active adult and student partnerships who work with the coalition on projects year round. 
Some of our successful Coalition Efforts include:
  • UthMpact Facts Social Norm Campaigns to educate on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and abuse of prescription drugs
  • UthMpact Social Marketing Campaigns to educate on bullying and distracted driving
  • Establishment of 6 permanent drop sites in the county for proper prescription drug disposal
  • Project Prom & Project Homecoming annual formal wear collection and distribution events that help educate youth and parents about making healthy choices and avoiding risky behaviors around prom, homecoming, and graduation events
  • Prescription Drug Take Back Days each Spring & Fall that collect over 3,000 lbs of pills per year
  • UthMpact Leadership Program to educate high school students about their community and offer training opportunities, along with hands-on experience, that helps youth develop  critical leadership skills to lead their own coalition, committees, and special events 
  • Multiple training opportunities offered to coalition leadership, staff, and community members
  • Own the Upside – a social norming and educational program for parents to educate them on current substance abuse issues and prevention strategies
  • Annual Prevention Summit continues to educate the community about substance abuse and related trends
  • Over 1,000 hours of service to the community promoting healthy lifestyles each year.

About Our Coalition

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