I had the very distinct opportunity to be a facilitator through the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation (MCYAF). MCYAF was selected as one of three sites in Illinois and only eighteen nationwide to be part of the Above the Influence next advertising campaign.

Above the Influence, is a compaign to help influence young people to remain drug free. According to it's website "It's a state of mind. It's about being yourself and not letting negative influence get to you."

Just last week, I participated with another member of MCYAF to assist some very bright, energetic and influential young ladies all members of the Cheerleading squad from Maine South High School in Park Ridge. These young ladies gave up there early morning before school to participate. The goal to shape a message to help influence young people just like them to live a life Above the Influence.

Now as a Police Officer of over 18 years it was an experience that I found to be both rewarding and enlightening. I have been working with youth for most of my law enforcement career. This group of very energetic and bright ladies came in with ideas that were both uplifting and eye catching.

The Above the Influence campaign is part of the very thing that the MCYAF Organization is working to influence.

MCYAF Coalition Mission, is to increase overall community capacity for advocacy, education, guidance and resources for families in order to promote alcohol free and drug free youth.


MCYAF Coalition Goals 
  1. Reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among Maine Township youth
  2. Effect change in public policy
  3. Establish and strengthen collaboration and capacity to address teen alcohol, tobacco and drug use

After completing this portion of the program two of the teens ad campaign brand slogans were selected and potentially could go to regional and ultimately to the national ad campaign, for the Above the Influence brand. Regardless of the outcome these bright young ladies crafted messages that would both inspire, direct and lead toward both themselves and their friends in leading a drug free life.


I was proud to participate and stand willing and able to represent the my agency and my organization in any effort to reduce drug, gang and violence involvement across the nation.