Firstly, YAK presented the idea of a Safe Space Room at Ilwaco High School to school administration in December. A Safe Space Room would be a place for students to go when feeling over stimulated, rather than leaving campus. YAK hopes to promote better coping skills and self-regulation as an alternative to self-medicating with marijuana to reduce stress. This strategy would change physical design, provide support, and build skills for youth. YAK is now drawing up policy and procedure while administration finds an appropriate space for the room.
Another local contributor to underage marijuana use is a lack of understanding of current marijuana and vaping laws in Washington state. At a teacher in-service in February, YAK did a presentation on current laws and health risks associated with minors using marijuana and e-cigs. This was a co-presentation with deputies Jon Ashley and Ryan Tully and resource office Casey Melling on current drug trends in Pacific county. By providing information to Ilwaco High School and Hilltop staff, YAK hopes to improve staff referrals and awareness of risks associated with these substances.
In January YAK presented their logic model and current projects to the Ocean Beach School District Board. Their presentation emphasized the low perception of harm of marijuana and the increase use of e-cig use by Ocean Beach School District students. It also explained how projects like YAK Night and Red Ribbon Week work to provide alternatives and information to youth to live substance-free lives. By advocating and raising awareness, YAK aims to promote youth wellness on the peninsula.