“Day One, Dr. Drew Celebrate and Educate” for Beacon Media Newspapers

December 2007

About 200 people, including youth advocates, parents, members of local organizations, and “Dr. Drew” Pinsky, attended the annual Day One luncheon held at the Pasadena Westin last Thursday to honor Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Flintridge Foundation’s Jaylene Moseley.

Day One is a 19-year-old non-profit organization whose mission is “to provide an organizational structure by which Pasadena, Altadena, Sierra Madre and the San Gabriel Valley at large will reduce the problems associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.”

The event usually honors one person each year, but this year Day One Executive Director Christy Zamani felt strongly that two people deserved to be recognized with Community Champion Awards.

“I think the mayor always sets the tone for what direction the city wants to go in and everything we put forward he always really supported,” said Zamani.

One of the ways Bogaard supports the community is by running weekly at the Rose Bowl to raise awareness for Pasadena Forward, an organization coordinating a marathon to be held next year.

Jaylene Moseley, managing director of Flintridge Foundation, was also honored for putting action behind her words.

“Some people can sit in their office and that’s all, but for her to get out, talk to people in the community, knock on doors and find out how we make Northwest Pasadena better…really made the choice for me,” said Zamani.

The event’s keynote speaker was Dr. Drew Pinsky, a Day One advisor who is best known for co-hosting “Loveline”, a radio show where young listeners call in with questions about sex, drugs and relationships.

“I’ve been dealing with youth for about 25 years in the public medium and I have found that the drug and alcohol issue is the medical problem, in my perspective, of our time,” said Pinsky, who is also chemical dependency medical service director for Aurora Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena. “Intervention by age eight has the highest probability of being successful.”

A key part of intervention that Pinsky spoke about was intersubjectivity, which is how people develop the capacity for flexibly managing emotion. This capacity shuts down during the age of 13-21, leading youth to drugs and other ways to cope with feelings.

Pinsky stressed the importance of “a single positive relationship outside the home, which is where (Day One) comes in, but still having an authority figure, learning to re-trust, and rebuilding that capacity with an adult who merely shows that individual an appreciation of their experience of life and brings them along with skills and support.”

The sponsored luncheon was termed a “friend-raiser” because it mostly raised awareness and emotional support for Day One, while raising money from donations and a silent auction to fund programs.

Day One currently has 35 youth advocates, who meet every week to discuss the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco and volunteer to run various activities like a pumpkin patch and a can drive.

“Before (Day One) I didn’t think (drugs) were a big deal,” said 15-year-old youth advocate Rocio Castro. “I didn’t know that so many people were using substances. Now I know that kids need to be aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.”

Throughout the year, Day One facilitates programs such as Parent Awareness Month, which offers parents a drug education conference and workshops and Youth Month in August, which offers youth alternatives to drugs like trips to amusement parks for a small fee or free of charge.

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