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Spotlight: Marco Jacome & Martiza Meeks

Each quarter we feature an interview with a board member and an employee of Prevention Partnership. Read our interview with Martiza Meeks, Prevention Specialist, and Board Member Marco Jacome.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work with Prevention Partnership?

Marco: Working with Prevention Partnership has been an incredibly rewarding experience. As a member of the board, I have witnessed firsthand the dedication and passion of the staff serving our community. Prevention Partnership’s commitment to addressing the unique challenges faced by minority populations struggling with substance use disorders is truly inspiring. The organization is so clearly driven by a deep sense of empathy and understanding of the communities it serves.

Martiza: The most rewarding aspect of working with Prevention Partnership is training under pioneers in the industry. Learning and growing under so many knowledgeable directors has given me added confidence in the field.

How did you first become involved with Prevention Partnership and what excited you most about working with Prevention Partnership?

Marco: I became involved as a Board Member of Prevention Partnership nearly 8 years ago. What drew me to the organization is the dynamic and forward-thinking team that wants to make a difference in our communities. Prevention Partnership’s investment in addressing social determinants of health, education and prevention is key to promoting a healthier, safer, and more prosperous future for all. Prevention Partnership is ahead of its time and has tailored programming to really address the community’s needs.

Martiza: I became involved with Prevention Partnership through my sister, Ava, who worked in Senator Kimberly Lightford’s office. The job announcement came across her desk and she immediately recommended me for the Prevention Specialist position.

What initiatives with Prevention Partnership are you most excited about?

Marco: One of my favorite initiatives at Prevention Partnership is the B.A.S.S.E.T. program. Responsible alcohol sales are essential for promoting public safety. Educating businesses on safe alcohol sale practices is essential to preventing underage drinking. Additionally, these trainings promote healthier relations between businesses and the communities they are in, which is a great benefit for everyone

Martiza: I am most excited about learning more about violence prevention and the work of the Westside Opioid Task Force. I find these concerns to be prevalent in our community and Prevention Partnership will be a part of the solution.

What's your favorite part of your role with Prevention Partnership?

Marco: My favorite part of my role with Prevention Partnership has been the opportunity to see the positive impact of the organization’s work on the lives of youth on the West Side. I have spent over 40 years working to increase access to behavioral health services for minority communities across Chicago as the CEO of Healthcare Alternative Systems. Learning from the innovative board members and staff at Prevention Partnership has been an invaluable experience for me. The landscape of substance use education and prevention has changed tremendously in the 4 decades that I have been in the field. Substance use education and prevention has become more participatory, and it has been inspiring to see youth being centered in the development and implementation of prevention programs.

Martiza: My favorite part of my role at Prevention Partnership is being out in the field facilitating YPE, YAC, Parent Communication Campaigns, and working with community partners. I find it valuable to have a strong presence in the schools and community.

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