On September 29th, 2022, Prevention Partnership celebrated its 35th anniversary with an awards dinner. The event was held at the Columbus Park Refectory on the west side of Chicago. The occasion served to highlight the longstanding and rich history of the organization as well as honoring valuable community partners that are critical to Prevention Partnership fulfilling its stated mission of “promoting positive habits through education, prevention, and intervention.” The evening was full of fun, food, and fellowship.
There were three distinguished community members honored during the festivities.
Prevention Partnership awarded Charles Anderson, principal of Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School, the 2022 recipient of the Matthew E. Creighton, S.J. Educational Leadership Award. Mr. Anderson is a native Chicagoan from the city’s West Side, and his work in Chicago Public Schools spans over 18 years.
Larry Williams, CPCU, CLU, ChFc, Agent State Farm Insurance Company, received Prevention Partnership’s 2022 VC League Community Leadership Award. Larry William’s holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Illinois State University, and was recently inducted into ISU’s Hall of Fame. Mr. Williams also serves as a mentor for at-risk youth.
State Representative La Shawn K. Ford was awarded Prevention Partnership’s 2022 Prevention Person of the Year Award. Rep. Ford is an advocate of social justice, education, and healthcare. Ford was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives representing the 8th District in 2007. Ford is also the co-founder of the West Side Heroin Task Force.
Prevention Partnership grew from an interagency collaboration involving three Chicago agencies - The Learning Network, Inc., Right Way Youth Center, and Person Education Development Education, an agency in St. Paul/Minneapolis. In 1984 the directors of these agencies formed The Partners in Prevention program, and in June 1987 incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) minority governed community-based prevention and health promotion agency.
Prevention Partnership’s Executive Director Al Orsello reflects on thirty-five years of service in the community. “Our successes stem from remaining true in our mission of keeping the community at the forefront in our work,” according to Orsello. Orsello continues, “Our programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated utilizing the help of the community and community coalitions. This has been key to our longevity.”
Prevention Partnership's community-based programs have included Youth Drug and Alcohol Prevention, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Gang Violence Prevention, Domestic Violence Prevention, and Responsible Alcohol Beverage Service to Adults including Drunk Driving Prevention for Bartenders & Servers.