Youth Initiatives

Youth highlighted at education summit

Operation UNITE, UNITE Clubs, and the KY HELP Statewide Call Center were featured during the SOAR “Turn The Tide” Substance Use Disorder Provider Education Seminar held at University of Pikeville on October 24, 2018. The day-long program featured: An over of Operation UNITE from Deputy Director Tom Vicini; stories of addiction from “I Am UNITE” scholarship recipients...

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54 AmeriCorps members to serve with UNITE

Updated 8-28-18 Operation UNITE has been awarded funding to place 54 Serve Kentucky AmeriCorps members in elementary schools across southern and eastern Kentucky during the 2018-19 school year. Through a $658,800 grant from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), AmeriCorps members serving with UNITE will provide math tutoring, drug prevention and healthy living...

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First Lady to campers: Use your voice

WILLIAMSBURG (7-26-18) – Melania Trump, First Lady of the United States, encouraged the 229 youth attending Camp UNITE to make the right choice by staying away from drugs and alcohol in a video message presented on the leadership/adventure program’s final night. “Your positive impact can be so powerful,” Mrs. Trump said. “With your voice, you have the ability to stand up...

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Sports balls donated by AHA

More than 400 basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, footballs and balls of all types have been donated to Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) for distribution throughout southern and eastern Kentucky. The sports balls were donated by the American Heart Association in a special media event held on Wednesday, July 25 on the campus of the University of the...

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5 Shoot Hoops camps planned

Five free, regional Operation UNITE Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball skills camps for youth throughout southern and eastern Kentucky will be conducted between June 18 through June 28. Former University of Kentucky point guard and four-time All-SEC Academic Team member Jarrod Polson – who was part of the 2011-12 National Championship squad – will conduct these three-hour camps. All school-age...

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Hammons honored for volunteerism

FRANKFORT (5-30-18) – Benji Hammons, a former UNITE Service Corps (AmeriCorps) member, received the National Service Alumni Award for her volunteer and service contributions at the 23rd Annual Kentucky Governor’s Service Awards Wednesday, May 30, at the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda. Hammons, a Laurel County resident who served as an AmeriCorps member at Cold Hill Elementary School from...

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22 students awarded scholarships

Twenty-two high school seniors have been selected to receive 2018 “I Am UNITE” scholarships totaling $33,000 for being champions for anti-drug efforts. Each scholarship is worth $1,500 toward post-secondary expenses. Funding for the scholarships comes from private donations to Operation UNITE.   “These scholarships honor youth who have excelled – not only this year, but throughout...

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Examining impact of community service

Operation UNITE was visited on Friday, October 13, by videographer Herby Smith to obtain footage for possible use in a mini-documentary series on the importance of national service and people working to change their communities. UNITE was selected as an example of the impact that federal funding for national service has had on critical issues at a local level. Click here to view...

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Lawmakers hear sobering account of opioid crisis

FRANKFORT (9-20-17) – At one Kentucky hospital, people are actually bringing in heroin and shooting up with patients. That’s one example of the “very desperate situation” the opioid-abuse crisis has created, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson said while testifying before a panel of state legislators yesterday in the Capitol Annex. He was among more than 25 people from...

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SHND: ‘March Madness’ in June

The spring might bring “March Madness,” but the hoops really heat up in June for Operation UNITE’s Shoot Hoops Not Drugs (SHND) basketball camps. Five regional camps were held with 737 youth participants from 27 Kentucky counties and three other states (Ohio, West Virginia and South Carolina). In addition, 262 adults attended a drug education program, and 145 volunteers assisted....

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