Way to go AOK Youth of Lamar, Missouri! This fabulous youth development organization just won a 5-year grant from SAMHSA to prevent and reduce substance use among young people in their county (Barton). This grant will fund years 6-10 of this group’s effective work, while evolving to better serve needs of their community by: (1) Adding a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to serve as a “Community Mental Health Advocate.” This position will be based in schools and will work collaboratively with teachers to identify and assist youth who are in need of referrals, diversion from traditional disciplinary measures (for substance use-related behavior issues), and counseling. (2) Adding substances delivered via eCigs to the list of targeted substances.
Aaron worked with AOK’s Executive Director and Board President from start to finish, ensuring the application was compelling, comprehensive, innovative and took nothing for granted – even though this organization has won SAMHSA grants in the past. What separates Aaron from other planners/ grant writers in the ecosystem? When he commits to a project, he goes all in, taking ownership, and working as if it is his organization is on the line. He’s “in it to win it, not just submit it.” With Aaron’s partnership, AOK is now 2-for-2 on their most recently submitted federal grants, equaling $1.3 million and an extraordinary ROI.