Phoenix House California’s Prevention Program created an opportunity for high school students in Service Provider Area (SPA) 2, Northeast San Fernando Valley, to apply for a sponsored Quinceñera. The winner was Mireyari Pacheco, a 16-year-old student at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in San Fernando. Mireyari said she was inspired to apply after witnessing the effects that alcohol addiction had on her grandfather and uncles. After seeing the devastation it caused them and her family, she decided she wants a better future for herself…substance free.
On June 1, more than 100 people gathered at San Fernando Recreation Park’s multi-purpose room to celebrate Mireyari’s Cinderally-themed Quinceañera event. The alcohol-free event was a celebration to change the social norms that contribute to alcohol use by discouraging favorable attitudes about underage and binge drinking during major celebratory events.
The Phoenix House Prevention Community Advisory Board (PCAB) is comprised of San Fernando Valley residents and local leaders working together to prevent substance abuse in the community and carry out various campaigns and events to raise awareness around alcohol and other drugs. Through campaigns like the community Quinceañera, the advisory board works to create environmental change so that it is easier for youth to live drug-free lives.