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Local Students Selected to National Leadership Forum

Two Rancho Santa Margarita boys and a San Clemente girl look forward to D.C. trip next month.

Article submitted by Sean Zeitler

Edward Hunter, Nicole Minkina and Bradley Smith have been selected to participate in this year's Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America National Leadership Forum next month.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is a 4-day conference packed with multiple opportunities to learn the latest strategies to fight substance abuse and hear from nationally-known experts and policymakers.

The Forum, scheduled for Feb. 3-7 in Washington, D.C., brings together more than 2,500 participants representing community anti-drug coalitions from all regions of the country, government leaders, youth, addiction treatment professionals, researchers, educators, law enforcement professionals and faith-based leaders.

Hunter, of Rancho Santa Margarita, joined the SMCHS Next Step program because he wants to be a part of a cause which prevents both kids and adults from ruining their lives but also the lives of those around them.

Smith, of Dove Canyon, doesn't have as a goal changing the world, but changing individuals. If he can prevent just one person from experimenting with controlled substances who otherwise would have, he feels as though he has done his job.

Minkina, of San Clemente, has been involved in the Next Step and the Drug Use is Life Abuse programs at Santa Margarita Catholic for the past three years. During that time, she has been a group leader and taught middle school students at St. John's Episcopal and Serra Catholic about the harmful consequences of abusing drugs. Last year, she was selected to be a member of the Board of Directors for Drug Use is Life Abuse (DUILA), Next Step's accompanying organization.

Since 1992, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) has been training local grassroots groups, known as community anti-drug coalitions, in effective community problem-solving strategies, teaching them how to assess their local substance abuse-related problems and develop a comprehensive plan to address them.

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