Emergent Outcomes in Ketchikan

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Terrence Robbins,the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition’s Drug Free Communities Project Coordinator, shares some unexpected emergent outcomes  that occurred during the filming of the latest Be [You] campaign commercial in Ketchikan. 

We couldn’t have been happier in how things went. Thanks so much for this experience.

  • While scouting for talent to be in the commercial we created close ties with people and organizations that we hadn’t worked with in the past, and now we will either work with in the future, or have easier access to their resources or facilities
  • We now have a strong relationship with the new Ketchikan High School Principal, Bob Marshall who gave us complete access, on a Saturday, to the High School and a classroom. He’s agreed to help us reduce youth access to alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana
  • We forged a relationship with Michelle O’Brien, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District President, and her staff at Ketchikan Public Utilities Comm vision IP Television Division who met with me and John Conn to help us plan the shoot. Shepersonally requested copies of the commercial so they can air it for their subscribers in Ketchikan. Free airtime! Amazing. Having the School Board behind our efforts isalso great
  • We partnered with the Church of God Youth Group who have 40-60 kids attend every week, many who are at risk and seeking a substance-free lifestyle. Many of these youth are Alaskan Native. Most of the kids in the commercial auditioned at Youth Group. The KWC had no prior working relationship with, or access to their particular youth. Now we do!
  • We worked with the Baptist Youth Group for the first time to share this message with their teens and youth leaders
  • We now have a working relationship with the Ketchikan Indian Community’s Tribal Scholars Program staff and student, two of whom are actors in the commercial. The KWC has a new partnership with Cedar, LLC., which offers education, organizational development, and tribal governance consulting services which will lead to positive outcomes for the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition and those in our community for whom we advocate.
  • The New York Hotel staff, with very little advance notice, allowed us to film in the café during business hours
  • Our lead actress, Madison Purcell’s, father was recently promoted to Drug Investigator for the Ketchikan Police Dept. and through conversations with him about this commercial is very much behind our efforts to reduce underage drinking, tobacco and marijuana use through prevention and the positive community norms campaign. Being a police officer, who is on the response side of the equation,supporting our efforts will be so valuable in the future

I’d also like to share a little about the youth and volunteers who were a part of the filming in Ketchikan

  • Madison Purcell, the lead actress, is a talented Alaska Native student who is active in softball, choir and her youth group
  • Nayomie and Jamie, youth actors, are Alaska Native students with the Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Scholars program
  • Megan Webb, youth actors, is a sophomore who the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition hire as a part-time Youth Coordinator for the Drug-free communities grant. She’s a young lady who is continually striving to “keep her at risk friends out of trouble” by providing them with a safe and clean place to hang out. She plays volleyball and has many close friends who are Alaska Native
  • Jalina and Lianne, youth actors, are Filipino
  • Taylor Arrowood, youth actress, just moved to Ketchikan with her father, who works at our shipyard. I believe that is either American Indian, but I may be wrong
  • Radek, youth actor, is a high school student
  • Michael, youth actor, is a high school student who’s military father brought him to Ketchikan from Guam.
  • Emily, youth actor, is a high school student who’s very active and her father is the High School girls basketball coach, and her mother is the School District Activities Director
  • Avery, actor, is active in ballet and volunteers in our community supporting the less fortunate
  • Michael is a Revilla Alternative High School student
  • Camille Booth, Alaska Native from Metlakatla, and her Alaska Native daughter Vanessa and granddaughter, opened up their home to us for the dinner scene.  Camille’s husband, John, was happy to help us out as well. Camille Booth, in my opinion, has spent her life in the service of Alaskan natives and an educator, Principal and Director in the Metlakatla Indian Community, for the Craig City School District, and brought dyslexia services to southern southeast Alaska for the first time through the Strive and Pride Dyslexia programs.

To summarize, I was so proud of the efforts of everyone who participated in the commercial, I feel that the kids we chose were absolutely representative of the youth in Alaska. Many of them didn’t know each other before we filmed and I’m sure that some friendships began.

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