The SSDP Just Say Know program has had a great first year! With updating the resources for the 2nd Edition of the training curriculum (coming soon!), and reformatting the delivery of the training to make it more accessible and easy to complete for all of our students, it is setting up to be even better for next year. Fortunately for me, there are rockstar SSDPers that have given so much of their time and effort to improving this program! A huge shout out and all of my gratitude goes to the 72 SSDPers that have engaged with the program throughout the year and provided the invaluable feedback that keeps making it better and better.
Because of your help, the Just Say Know program has been getting noticed! Recently, we were contacted by some wonderful folks in Denver who wanted to bring our program to their grade school. In order to make this happen, and tailor the program to their community as it is designed to do, we have hired two excellent interns who will be helping to bring this program to life for some very lucky young people in Denver. Introducing our new Denver Just Say Know Interns, James Gould ‘15 and Sarah Diem ‘15! We’ve asked them to tell you a little bit about themselves and their goals for this internship:
James Gould is the Vice President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at CU Boulder. He first got involved with Students for Sensible Drug Policy after moving to Boulder, Colorado for a web development job. He has been advocating for sensible drug policy, harm reduction, and fact-based drug education since his early days in high school and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. Currently, he does freelance web development for a living and engages in reform as a passion.
If I could only accomplish one thing in this internship, it would be:
To give youth the proper drug education that I didn’t have access to when I was younger. It is an honor to have the opportunity to give the next generation the life-saving harm reduction education that myself and my peers didn’t receive.
If I could wave a magic wand and change one specific thing about drug education, it would be:
To move drug education towards a harm reduction approach. We need to provide youth with the education and resources they need to make informed decisions.
Sarah Diem is a senior at University of Colorado Denver studying Political Science with an emphasis on Public Policy, she is also completing a Psychology minor. In the last few years Sarah has developed an SSDP chapter at CU Denver and is continuing to work on building relationships with other forward-thinking organizations on campus and encourage participation with the Harm Reduction Action Center. Sarah has a particular interest in forwarding legislation for psychedelic therapies and furthering the implementation of harm reduction and education in the community. Hoping to bridge her studies of political science and psychology, Sarah is extremely excited to contribute to the Just Say Know program and engage in educating local youth on harm reduction measures and relevant policies.
If I could accomplish one thing in my internship:
If I could accomplish one thing in this internship it would be to make students feel truly empowered with information and tools to make healthy and educated decisions regarding drug use. Abstinence-only or non-science based education programs rarely provide students with knowledge they find useful when it comes time to make decisions regarding substance use; I hope to become a trusted and judgement-free resource to both students and the community as a whole.
If I could wave a magic wand and change one specific drug policy in my state, it would be:
If I could wave a magic wand to change policy here in Colorado I would prevent drug checking kits from being considered illegal paraphernalia. Currently, items used for drug checking can justify a paraphernalia charge which can easily dissuade someone from carrying and using a kit to ensure their safety.