THY Participate in AFSP Out of Darkness Community Walk 2021

November 7th, 2021

Teens for Healthy Youth Participate in AFSP Out of Darkness Community Walk

Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) from Hilton Head Christian Academy, Heritage Academy, May River High, and Bluffton High participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Walk 2021 in Bluffton, SC. During the event, THY members staffed a resource table and distributed THY’s informational brochure to walk participants to create an awareness for Teens for Healthy Youth (THY). THY members also passed out THY’s Teen Stress Fact Card, THY’s Medicine Safety Tip Fact Cards, and LowCountry Alliance for Health Youth’s (LCAHY) Rx Drop Box Location Fact Cards. THY works to promote prevention plus health/wellness and educate about youth substance use and related risks behaviors such as stress, depression, and suicide. THY and LCAHY plan to participate in additional community events to educate on prevention, promote positive teen health, and create an awareness of the LCAHY coalition and THY.

LCAHY and THY Assist Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office at DEA’s Rx Take Back Day 2021

The Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth, Teens for Healthy Youth, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, and Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department collaborated to collect unused prescription medications from residents.  Thirty-one cars dropped off medications.  Laila Holmes, a member of Teens for Healthy Youth at Bluffton High School, reached out to her mom to drop off their unused prescription medications and educated her mom on the importance of properly returning prescription medications. In addition, THY members passed out LCAHY’s Rx Fact Cards with year-round drop-off locations and THY’s Medicine Safety Tips Fact Card. LCAHY/THY, BCSO, and BCADAD have worked together annually at this event and plan to continue efforts to collect prescription medications in the spring.


Teens for Healthy Youth Raise Money for Bluffton Family After Tragedy

One of the goals of THY’s mission is to promote positive teen health through community service. After an unexpected car accident that resulted in the loss of a rising ninth grader, members of Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) Bluffton High School collected donations for the Harrison family, who has a daughter in 11th grade at Bluffton High.  THY recognized that an unexpected loss of a loved one can cause stress and other related risk factors and wanted to support the mental health and wellbeing of the family. The funds raised by BLHS THY will be used by the family to begin a scholarship for students studying music. 


Bluffton High School THY member, Javier Rodriguez, collects money from peers to support the Harrison family.


LCAHY Participates in DEA National Rx Take Back Day April 2021

April 24, 2021

The LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) and their youth coalition, Teens for Health Youth (THY) collaborated with Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), and Beaufort County Drug and Alcohol Department (BCADAD)  to promote DEA’s National Rx Take Back Day April 24, 2021.  LCAHY board members promoted the event by sharing Take Back Day information across the twelve community sectors via Facebook, email, newspaper, TV, and Nixel. LCAHY, THY , BCSO, and BCADAD collected 53 pounds of Rx medications and passed out 65 LCAHY Rx Fact cards and 65 LCAHY Medication Safety cards to community members. LCAHY and THY members have participated annually in Take Back Day and plan to collaborate in the future to support National DEA Rx Take Back Day.

THY Bluffton Educate Their Peers on the Dangers of Marijuana Before Summer Break

June 4, 2021

Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) at Bluffton High School educated their peers on the dangers of marijuana before the summer break.  THY decided to do this because the summer months are a time when teens may be introduced to or try a substance, such as marijuana, for the first time. In addition, the data from the SC Communities that Care Survey indicated that youth did not perceive marijuana as dangerous as other substances such as alcohol. Also, THY members reported that many of their peers had myths regarding marijuana and needed the facts on the dangers and risks of marijuana. THY members developed myth and fact cards on marijuana. For instance, one of the Myth cards read, “You can’t get addicted to marijuana!” and the corresponding fact card had an infographic from NIDA that said, “One in ten people who use marijuana will become addicted.”  To encourage their peers to pay attention to the facts, THY attached Smarties candies to the fact card and Dum-dums lollipops to the myth side.  Likewise, the information is attached to a THY Bluffton water bottle to create awareness about THY.  Bottles were distributed to Bluffton High students and rising 9th graders at McCracken Middle School, reaching approximately 1,200 students.  THY is dedicated to engaging in peer-to-peer prevention education year-round.

School Administrator Presents “Cultural Awareness in Our Community”


Andrea Ingle, Assistant Principal at Bluffton High who oversees English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), shared her knowledge of race, culture, and the contexts for multilingual learners with the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) Community Board Members via Zoom. As a former citizen of Venezuela and multilingual learner, she also shared her personal perspective. The purpose of the presentation was to provide LCAHY’s Community Board members with an understanding of the Latino/Hispanic cultures within our community that they can use when incorporating cultural competence into the coalition’s comprehensive prevention plan.  In her presentation, she addressed how culture impacts one’s perception of health and one’s perception of substance use and abuse.  She explained cultural differences in parental involvement, family structure, and cultural norms/perception of harm around youth substance use within the Latino/Hispanic cultures.  She also addressed the impact of COVID on our Latino/Hispanic population and their reactions to the pandemic, including stress experienced during the pandemic. She suggested that LCAHY reach out to Latino/Hispanic families in Spanish during school events such as student orientation night and Multilingual Learners night.  LCAHY plans to work with Ms. Ingle in the future to coordinate LCAHY’s involvement in school events. Conducting a cultural awareness training is part of LCAHY’s 12-Month Action plan.

Low Country Alliance for Healthy Youth-Culture, Race, and the Contexts for Multilingual Learners-PowerPoint

Video Presentation

Andrea Ingle, Assistant Principal Bluffton High

LCAHY Hosts May Day 5K Walk/Run

May 15th, 2021

The LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth hosted a 5K Walk/Run in Oyster Factory Park in downtown Bluffton, SC. Grey Anne Cummings, former President of Teens for Healthy Youth at Bluffton High, now a university sophomore, served as LCAHY’s USCB intern for the project.  LCAHY sponsors set up tables at the start/finish line and were also recognized via LCAHY’s website, May Day 5K T-shirt, and event flyer.  The title sponsor of the 2021 race was Beaufort Memorial Health Link for Children.  LCAHY Board and Teens for Healthy Youth members staffed the event.  In addition, a Teens for Healthy Youth member at Cross Schools developed the logo for the race.  Her drawing included a spring flower and read “Racing for a Healthier Community” as featured on the race shirt.  LCAHY’s inaugural race fundraiser had over 150 participants. Mayor Sulka of Bluffton attended the race. Overall, the event was very successful in helping LCAHY raise funds and create an awareness of the coalition and its vision to unite the community to promote positive choices for our youth.  LCAHY plans to host the walk/run annually as a way to raise funds and support the sustainability of LCAHY.  

Teens for Healthy Youth served as course marshals during LCAHY’s May Day 5K Race/Walk. Opening ceremony of LCAHY’s inaugural May Day 5K Race/Walk at Oyster Factory Park, Bluffton.

Participants of LCAHY’s May Day 5K begin the race.

May Day 5K Walk/Run flyer 2021.

THY volunteers at May Day 5K.LCAHY Board Member and local business owner, Tia Campanella, donated water for the race and Publix donated fruit.

LCAHY’s May Day 5K intern, Grey Cummings, presents race medal to one of the participants.

LCAHY’s youngest race winner receives her medal.

May Day 5K Sponsorship Banner.

Heritage Academy, one of the Gold Sponsors of the May Day 5K.

Logo for race designed by Teens for Healthy Youth member at Cross Schools.

THY Members Recognized During LCAHY Board Meeting

The LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) held a recognition ceremony for Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) during a LCAHY Board meeting via Zoom.  THY, LCAHY’s youth coalition, was applauded for their numerous accomplishments during the 2020-2021 school year.  LCAHY’s Youth Coordinator, Laura Pirkey, commended the youth for their dedication to promoting positive teen health during an unprecedented school year and shared key contributions via a PowerPoint presentation. The PowerPoint showed youth participation in national campaigns including DEA’s Rx Take Back Days, NIDA’s National Alcohol and Drug Facts Week, and SAMHSA’S National Prevention Week. The THY groups also addressed teen stress during COVID by creating videos, informational flyers/brochures, and making their own stress-free fair. Wendy Cummings, Chair of the LCAHY coalition, stated that THY is the jewel of the coalition and announced her excitement that THY would be expanding to include Heritage Academy next school year.  Additionally, Dr. Novice, the consultant for LCAHY and THY, congratulated the youth for being one of the most active and productive sectors of the coalition.  Finally, the 2020-2021 Teens for Healthy Youth Outstanding Senior, Audrey Weidner, was recognized by LCAHY’s Youth Coordinator during the ceremony.  Audrey Weidner will also be recognized during Bluffton High School’s Senior Night and Mayor Sulka of Bluffton plans to include THY members in the Bluffton Mayor’s Community Service Ceremony in May.

THY Recognition Event 2020-2021 (2)

Members of Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) Receive the Mayor’s Service Award


Six members of Bluffton High School THY were recognized by Mayor Sulka of the Town of Bluffton for their outstanding community service.  The Mayor’s service award is presented annually to high school youth that do a minimum of 30 hours of community service.  Mariana Mata Perez received Gold Recognition for exceeding 100 hours of community service and the other students received Silver Recognition.  The youth engaged in various community service work including volunteering for the DEA’s National Rx Take Back Day events, peer-to-peer education during NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week, and assisting during the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth’s May Day 5k Walk/Run. Mayor Sulka praised the youth for volunteering in their community and encouraged them to continue making a positive difference in the lives of others in their schools & community.  About THY: The mission of THY is to promote positive teen health through leadership, positive youth development, peer-to-peer education, advocacy, and community service.

All 2021 Recipients Evie Cartmel, Reese Marcotte, Mariana Mata Perez, Emy Contreas, Illa Hodges, Audry Weidner

Illa Hodges THY

LCAHY promotes SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week & May Mental Health & Substance Abuse Awareness Month 2021

May 2021

During the May Bluffton Town Council Meeting, the mayor issued a proclamation joining LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth in raising awareness about positive mental health and substance abuse prevention. The proclamation acknowledged May as Mental Health and Substance Abuse Awareness Month and declared May 9th- May 15th, 2021 as National Prevention Week in the Town of Bluffton. During National Prevention Week, Joy Nelson, the media representative on the LCAHY Board, gave an interview on WHHI to create awareness for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Awareness Month. She also highlighted the accomplishments and efforts of Teens for Healthy Youth to address mental health and substance use issues. To view her interview, go to  Additionally, Teens for Healthy Youth at May River High School created an awareness of National Prevention Week’s daily themes by developing their own morning announcements for students that reflected the daily NPW themes.  

LCAHY sent an E-News Alert promoting May Mental Health Awareness Month  and National Prevention Week, which provided information and resources.

National Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention ProclamationTown of Bluffton