March 5, 2021

Be The Influence seeks parent advisors

By Briana Bizier

We have all faced incredible challenges in this past year. From work to school to our social lives, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted almost everything we once took for granted. One constant, however, is that it still takes a village to raise a child. In these uncertain times, the youth of Windham and Raymond need our help more than ever.

Be the Influence is part of a Drug Free Communities grant working with all sectors in our community to reduce youth substance use. Before the pandemic, Be the Influence created and implemented many youth engagement events in schools, local libraries and both communities including a community mural, a theatre group, PSA contests, media campaigns and changing policies by meeting with local legislators to discuss concerns about the effects of drugs on brain development, just to name a few.

As Be the Influence adapted to our new socially distant era, many of these events have moved online. A recent meeting with Maine State Senator Bill Diamond and area Representatives to discuss vaping happened over Zoom.

This spring Be the Influence is teaming with Windham’s and Raymond’s Departments of Parks and Recreation to co-host a Family, Fun, Fitness and Film Festival, as well as partnering with other health agencies. Be The Influence is also currently co-hosting a series of webinars on mental health resources with the EmpowerME Health Series for parent, youth and community prevention and resources.

Yet, as the community’s needs continue to shift over the course of the pandemic, Be the Influence wants to make sure they are offering programs that help the greatest number of children, parents and families. To that end, Be the Influence is seeking input from Windham and Raymond parents.

How can Be the Influence support your family? What programs, activities, and resources do you need? What concerns are parents and children facing as you navigate a hybrid school schedule, remote learning, an increase in substance misuse, and the mental health challenges of this unprecedented time? Most importantly, what can we do to help and to give you the tools you need to ensure your child lives a heathy life?

If you are interested in joining Be the Influence’s Parental Advisory Board, please contact Laura Morris at or Lorraine Glowczak at <

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