Substance Abuse Featured Volunteer: Robin Barstow

Greater Old Town Communities That Care is member of United Way of Eastern Maine’s Mentor, Tutor, Reader Drive, and one of our top partners in the community working to prevent substance abuse by guiding children to make good decisions.

Robin Barstow is one of their finest volunteers and has this to say about her work there:

“I am a part time graduate student at the University of Maine, Orono, getting my Masters Degree in Social Work so that I can become a therapist/counselor for children and adolescents.  As part of this program I interned at Greater Old Town Communities That Care (GOT CTC) because of their tutoring program for middle school students.”

“The abuse of alcohol and other drugs during adolescence is a serious public health problem.  Many of the risk factors for adolescent drug abuse also predict other adolescent problem behaviors such as delinquency teenage pregnancy, school misbehavior and drop out. When either risk or protective factors increase in number, and increase in duration, they facilitate one another’s effects.   Although, a particularly interesting long-term study following the lives of nearly 700 children who were living in poverty on the Hawaiian island of Kauai has shown that not all protective factors may be created equal.  The research found that the presence of ‘one caring adult’ is enough to have a profoundly positive effect upon a child who is facing a multitude of other risk factors.”

“Intervention that is timely and effective can have a positive impact on a child’s subsequent development.  A very effective general protective intervention is tutoring and the bond children form with a caring adult.  Just as emotionally traumatic events can tear apart the fabric of individual psyches and families, emotions can also act as powerful catalysts for healing.  In my experience, positive words and good role models have great power to elevate us all to what we really want.”

-Robin Barstow
Volunteer for Greater Old Town Communities That Care


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