Banesa Interiano Jordan is June’s Member of the Month

06/14/2021

Banesa Interiano Jordan is June’s Coalition Member of the Month. Banesa represents our Youth Sector. She is 17 years old and a senior at Riverhead Senior High School. Banesa has a strong desire to help her community. She is a member of Riverhead CAP’s Peer Leadership program and the Riverhead Youth Coalition (RYC).  She is also a member of Bible Club, Key Club, Class of 2021, French Club, and Labyrinth. Banesa takes part in the Women’s Empowerment Club, a community of female students working together to build each other’s character and confidence while boosting self-awareness.

Banesa has a passion for music and participates in Concert Band. In addition, she’s been recognized for her academic achievement. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society. Banesa is one of this year’s CAP Leadership Scholarship recipients as well.

Banesa Interiano Jordan’s career goal is helping others in need. She will attend Stony Brook University in the Fall, majoring in psychology. She plans to focus her studies on becoming a child psychologist or a child psychiatrist. Banesa enjoys working with children and has an interest in preventing and managing mental illness.

PEER LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Since 2018, Banesa has been an outstanding member of Riverhead CAP’s Peer Leadership program. She serves as a strong and consistent Peer Leader for CAP’s evidence-based prevention program at Pulaski Street School. As part of this program she provides 6th grade students with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy decisions and lead a drug-free life. Banesa is fluent in Spanish and has substantially assisted Riverhead CAP to address a major barrier by working to provide and expand our program to Spanish-speaking students.

PARTICIPATING IN COVID-19 PROJECTS

Banesa partnered with CAP to launch our Too Good for Drugs virtual program during the 2020-2021 school year. The program targeted Riverhead students in grades 4-6 during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over 1,000 students were served. Banesa reviewed Spanish translations and provided English and Spanish-language voiceover for eight elementary lessons. This was the highest participation for any student this year.

Banesa also partnered with CAP to implement an Awareness and Celebration Day at Pulaski Street School in June 2021. The celebration was for students who completed this year’s virtual program. She spent the day visiting 6th grade classrooms to discuss the importance of making healthy decisions.

RIVERHEAD YOUTH COALITION

In 2019, Banesa furthered her efforts to prevent youth substance use by joining the Riverhead Youth Coalition. She wrote and recorded a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to raise awareness of underage drinking. She also worked with the coalition to host its first BR-INGO fundraiser, an event that raised nearly $900 to support the youth coalition’s initiatives.

Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski recently sat down with Banesa to talk about her experience with Riverhead CAP’s programs. Here are the highlights:

Why did you get involved in CAP’s Peer Leadership program?

“Although I did not join until high school, it has always been a dream of mine to become a CAP leader. It was important to me to teach the younger generations the dangers associated with drug use and the importance of knowing how to say no. It was especially important for me this year to record the Spanish lessons. As someone who grew up around many family members who did not understand English, I never want students to feel left out or feel as though they are unimportant to the conversation. Substance use can affect anyone, regardless of their race or language. It is important to be inclusive when teaching students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

“I became involved in the Riverhead Youth Coalition because I wanted to spread my own awareness to more than just students, but also to the community. Public awareness is vital to keeping our community safe. We cannot always speak to individuals independently and it is important to reach them in other ways. One way to reach people is through PSAs. PSAs can target a large audience within our community.”

What is your favorite CAP activity?

“My favorite Peer Leadership activity is participating in Role Plays. During this year’s virtual program, we had to identify creative activities to engage the students. Role Plays take real life situations and allow the Peer Leaders to reenact these situations. This helps students learn to respond to situations in a way that will keep them safe.

“My favorite RYC activity is writing and recording PSAs. I enjoyed brainstorming ideas to develop the PSA. I also like how the PSAs can be professionally recorded.”

Name three words that best describe you.
“Diligent, loyal, and reliable.”  
What adventures are still on your bucket list?

“I have an interest in traveling to foreign countries to experience their culture. The two countries I would like to visit are Italy and Korea. I would like do a foreign exchange program so that I can fully immerse myself in the cultures of one of these countries.”

Besides CAP activities, what else do you like to do?

“I enjoy volunteering with my church. We have visited senior centers on numerous occasions and it is a humbling experience. I am able to hear stories and receive advice from other people. I also like to spend quality time with my family. It is important to me to spend all the time I can with them so I don’t regret their possible absence in the future.”

Interested in learning more about coalition membership?

Contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106, or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.