Finding the silver-linings: new prevention program at A-West


Dan Meyers

Teachers and students at A-West are working to create a safe place for students struggling with substance abuse in their homes.

A lot of teens struggle with abusing substances. Dozens of prevention programs exist around the country to attempt to rehabilitate teens who struggle with drug abuse. Despite this, about 62% of teenagers have admittedly abused alcohol by their 12th grade year. This doesn’t even include smoking and other drugs. 

A student and a social worker at A-West have decided to make an effort to help teens who struggle with drugs at their own school. Jeweliana Moncrose, a student at A-West, and Alexandra Evans, a social worker at A-West, have started a support group called Silver-Lining. This support group was created with the goal of helping students who either abuse substances or are around a lot of substance abuse. 

But, how is it different from any other program with a similar goal and how could it be potentially more helpful? 

“Being a support group leader has always been my dream job,” states Moncrose. “I want to be helping with what I know is a problem in our school.” 

Moncrose approached Evans in August, towards the beginning of the school year, with the belief that she could lay the foundation for the support group that Moncrose wanted to eventually achieve. Evans was interested in this idea and began working with Moncrose to strive towards her goal. 

“We’ve been working on this since the beginning of the school year when Jeweliana came up to me and proposed this idea for a support group to assist teens near drugs and it amazed me,” says Evans. 

Throughout the process of creating Silver-Lining, there was, of course, naming it. Through months of the naming process, they decided on several different names. Finally they narrowed it down to just one, obviously being “Silver-Lining.”

“I kept coming back to the name ‘silver-lining’ every time I thought about it,” Moncrose states. “I chose that name because it made me feel like I would be the reason that someone’s problems got better because there’s a silver lining behind every problem.”

What makes this group special is that it’s exclusively A-West students and only students that have gone through similar things, relating to drug abuse. This creates a familiar environment for the students deciding to participate in the group. 

“We wanted kids to feel like they’re not walking alone and that they feel validated here,” explains Evans. “We wanted them to know that there are people around them going through similar things and that they can get through it together.”

Evans and Moncrose created this group with the hopes of assisting students at A-West. So far, 6 or more people have joined and they hope to have more.