Meet April’s Coalition Member of the Month: Imani Thomas
April’s Coalition Member of the Month is Imani Thomas, representing our Youth Sector since 2016. Imani Thomas is a sophomore at Riverhead High School. She is an active member of the Riverhead Youth Coalition (RYC), Riverhead CAP’s Peer Leadership Program, Riverhead High School Student Government, and is the Treasurer of the Class of 2021. Besides participating in these groups, she loves to spend time catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, and Quantico… that’s only if her friends aren’t asking her to study together. She also likes re-reading Rupi Kaur poetry books (Milk and Honey & The Sun and her Flowers), occasionally cleaning her room, and hanging out with her friends whenever she can. She also enjoys spending time shopping with her grandma and going to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts to get coffee.
a dedicated coalition member
For the past 3 years, Imani Thomas has been a dedicated member of the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth. She is a driving force in the implementation of coalition strategies that focus on preventing and reducing youth use of alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, and vaping. After years of successful coalition involvement, Imani now plays an integral role in training younger members to write and record Public Service Announcements (PSAs), creating and delivering community-based presentations, partnering with coalition staff and the Riverhead Police Department to facilitate Medication Take Back Days, and much more.
Imani also serves as a strong and consistent peer leader for CAP’s Life Skills Training Program at Pulaski Street School, where she provides 6th grade students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead a drug-free life. She has also served as a trainer for this program, where she has worked with CAP staff to carry out our annual two-day Summer Workshop to prepare new students to enter the program, as well as a full day Alcohol Workshop for middle school peer leaders to increase their knowledge and understanding of the consequences of underage drinking.
Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski recently sat down with Imani to talk about her experience with the coalition.
Here are the highlights:
- Why did you get involved in the coalition?
“I became involved in the coalition when I started to notice my peers were engaging in alcohol, vaping and other drugs. I wanted to be part of a group that worked to prevent and reduce this problem among my peers and younger students. My first experience with CAP was participating in the Pulaski Street School program. One summer, CAP staff invited peer leaders to take part in a Dover Youth to Youth training for RYC members and that is when I knew that I wanted to not just be part of the Pulaski program, but the coalition too. Substance use has also impacted me personally because my father was involved in a car crash where alcohol was a factor.”
- What is your favorite coalition activity?
“I love the PSA trips (to Beach 101.7). It’s fun to record the PSAs and I love that we all get to ride the bus together because we get to talk and get to know each other more during the long ride. I also love Medication Take Back events because we get to communicate directly with community members.”
- Name three words that best describe you.
“Determined, funny, outgoing.”
- Besides coalition work, what else do you like to do?
“I love to watch Netflix, read books, shop (mostly online), and I also enjoy photography!”
Interested in learning more about coalition or youth coalition membership?
Contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106 or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.