It’s been a full first year for Morgan Empowered, our community organization consisting of volunteers who decided a year ago to organize and work together to _coordinate family and community resources to empower youth to become responsible and upright adults. Combating the plague of drug abuse in our community was the initial catalyst for drawing Morgan County leaders together representing parents, schools, law enforcement, religious organizations, and city, county, and government agencies. Looking back on their first year, Morgan Empowered has certainly taken some big strides to empower Morgan’s youth. Their first step at the beginning of last year was to empower parents by sponsoring three Parent Drug Awareness presentations. Over 100 people in the community contributed their time and talents to make these presentations successful. M.E.’s second step was sponsoring our community celebration, I Like Me, Alcohol Free! Children in our community sang and awards were presented for posters and videos created that showed our Morgan youth engaging in positive and healthy activities together. Culminating this family event was guest speaker and BYU football star, Bryan Kariya, who encouraged our youth to choose good friends, do their best in academics, and maintain a healthy relationship with their parents. At the beginning of the new school year, M.E. sponsored another Parent Awareness presentation, Cell Phone and Internet Safety. This educational presentation helped parents understand the myths vs. reality regarding internet predators and pornography, the impact today’s technology can have on our youth for better or worse, and how parents can protect their children by monitoring and knowing how to use the technological devices their children are using. Additionally, parents were encouraged to teach their children to be smart and intelligent about sex, and to empower their children to police themselves. Later in the fall, M.E. sponsored a community food drive involving the youth in the county collecting food and donating it to the county food bank. In one neighborhood alone, the youth collected 1,200 pounds of donated food. It was a very rewarding experience to be able to contribute to the dwindling supply at the food bank especially just in time for the upcoming holiday season. What are their upcoming goals for this new year? Continuing to implement M.E.’s monthly goals as individuals and within each organization is certainly one goal such as: *writing lift notes and giving sincere compliments to youth and adults to strengthen and recognize their positive attributes and actions, *focusing on expressing gratitude, *providing acts of service, and *establishing connection with those who need it most. Upcoming monthly goals will be Turn Off Technology and Tune-In to Family, Table Talk Topics, and slowing down and enjoying connection time with our community’s youth, starting with our own children and grandchildren. We invite our community to join us in empowering our youth, and others in our community, by adopting these goals in your own life for this new year!