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Prevention Center of Excellence Grant

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Together, we can build a prevention network.

NVRH has teamed up with Umbrella to implement the Prevention Center of Excellence Grant program in the Northeast Kingdom.

The goals of this initiative are to reduce underage drinking, high-risk alcohol consumption, marijuana and tobacco misuse, prescription drug and stimulant misuse, illicit stimulant and opioid use. In addition to the substances listed, this grant will serve to build substance use primary and secondary prevention capacity and infrastructure at the community and regional levels.

As one of the primary strategies to address the goals above, the NEK Prevention Center of Excellence (NEK PCE) will grant funds to community-based organizations, schools, and other community partners through both noncompetitive and competitive processes.  Please refer to the NEK-PCE Strategic Plan for more detail. 

FY 2022 Grantees

Big Brothers Big Sisters received $10,000: The project will focus on educating the public on the benefits of mentoring and connecting youth to reliable adults and opportunities within their communities. Activities will include meeting with individuals, schools, social service orgs, civic orgs, prevention coalitions, community groups and local businesses to educate and promote the need for and benefits of mentoring youth; providing info sessions, orientations and training for prospective volunteer mentors, exploring recruitment and program partnership opportunities; and increasing the number of youth being mentored in the NEK and feeling like they matter to their communities.

Catamount Film & Arts Co. received $10,000: Since its beginning nearly 15 years ago as a youth-driven open-mic program funded through a substance abuse prevention coalition, Open Stage has provided a safe, sober entertainment alternative for local youth on Friday evenings. With funding in 2021 from a PCE sub-award, Open Stage was able to pay a team of students to create and implement weekly arts programming, providing job experience as well as opportunities to amplify youth voice and foster youth leadership while providing a substance-free and COVID-safe alternative for socializing and creative expression. In the coming months they will focus on community engagement and nurturing an environment where youth feel valued and connected.

Kingdom County Productions received $8,500: Working with high schools, youth organizations and after-school programs in the Northeast Kingdom, The Listen Up Workshops will create safe spaces for youth to tell their stories through discussion, writing and performance.

Lyndon Institute received $2,500: This project is for the establishment of a viable GSA organization at LI with a focus on providing support for LGBTQ+ students and a bridge to the wider school community.

North Country Supervisory Union received $10,000: The North Country English Language Learner Summer Program will help to create a community where English learners feel valued and connected.

Northeast Kingdom Human Services received $6,340: This project will create an event, following COVID-19 guidelines, hosted by Northeast Kingdom Human Services (NKHS), to invite any Northeast Kingdom youth and their families to participate in a Wellness Day in our community. The one-day summer event at a local park will include collaboration with community organizations serving youth and families to share mental health support resources, resilience activities, and educational information supporting mental and physical wellness. The goal of this event is to reach youth and their families upstream with support and prevention benefits that can deter involvement in high-risk activities and decrease feelings of sadness or hopelessness.

St. Johnsbury School District received $8,454: Led by an experienced teacher and video producer, and with the town as their studio, St. Johnsbury School students will produce a public service announcement that lobbies local individuals and organizations to increase their engagement with youth. Taken seriously and occupied joyfully and productively, youth are less likely to use substances.

Stable Connections, Inc. received $10,000: This program offers a unique opportunity for experiential learning with a strong focus on strengthening an individual’s confidence, connectedness, character and leadership skills. By focusing on increasing protective factors and leadership skills, the youth in our communities can decrease the likelihood of turning to substances like tobacco, alcohol or other drugs. Our facility will give these youth a sense of being supported, belonging, and connected. Our LGBTQIA youth who fear stigmatization will find these workshops can provide safe and comfortable environment, free from reprisal, where a deeper level of growth and learning can take place.

Advisory Committee

An Advisory Committee has been appointed to bring unique knowledge and skills and multi-sector input to the Prevention Center of Excellence Grant Project.

Members include:

  • Constance Anderson, Executive Director, Northeast Kingdom Youth Services
  • Arial Beaulac, Recovery Coach, Kingdom Recovery Center
  • Lila Bennett, Executive Director, Journey to Recovery Community Center
  • Michael Brandli, Assistant Director of Behavioral Health, Little Rivers Health Care
  • Michael Costa, CEO, Northern Counties Health Care, Inc.
  • Sheriff Jennifer L. Harlow, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department
  • Betsy Fowler, Director of Behavioral Health, Northern Counties Health Care
  • Jim Kisch, CEO, President, Passumpsic Bank
  • Suzanne Legare-Belcher, Field Services Director, Newport and St. Johnsbury Districts, Vermont Agency of Human Services
  • Samantha Stevens, Equity and Community Outreach Coordinator, North Country Supervisory Union


For a description of the Advisory Committee member responsibilities, click here.

Advisory Council Timeline

Click here.


Strategic Plan

NEK PCE 2022-2024 Stategic Plan – click here to download


Prevention 101 Training (download the flyer here: Prevention 101 Training)

The Vermont Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, in partnership with the Northeast Kingdom Prevention Center of Excellence, will be hosting Prevention 101 trainings.

This training will provide an introduction to substance misuse prevention and demonstrate how to use prevention concepts to support community change.

Training topics will include:

  • Vermont Prevention Model
  • Strategic Prevention Framework
  • Understanding risk and protective factors
  • Other relevant topics

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Friday, June 3, 2022 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


Learn more.

Contact program managers Cheryl Chandler and Amanda Cochrane. Click here or email them at