Orangielee Wilkinson is February’s Coalition Member of the Month
Orangielee Wilkinson is February’s Coalition Member of the Month, representing our Youth Sector since 2017.
Orangielee is a 16 year-old sophomore at Riverhead High School. She is very active within her school and community. Orangielee is a member of Riverhead High School’s Chamber Orchestra and Riverhead Key Club. She also takes part in the Women’s Empowerment Club, a community of female students who work together to build each other’s character and confidence while also boosting self-awareness. Members participate in a wide variety of activities that promote self-acceptance and positivity; they also discuss gender equality and social issues pertaining to women.
Driven and Passionate
Orangielee Wilkinson is a driven and passionate individual, especially when it comes to science and technology. She participates in Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) at Stony Brook University. This multi-faceted program is designed for young women who show academic promise or interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, she is also a member of Suffolk County Community College’s Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), an initiative that motivates and prepares minority students for careers in science, technology and mathematics-related disciplines, along with licensed professions.
Committed to Reducing Youth Substance Abuse
Over the past several years, Orangielee has been committed to reducing youth substance use in the Riverhead community. She 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 also serves as a trainer for this program. As a trainer, she helps facilitate CAP’s Alcohol and Summer Workshops for new peer leaders. Recently, she worked with CAP staff to develop an underage drinking prevention video for 5th grade students at Pulaski Street School.
Riverhead Youth Coalition
In 2019, Orangielee furthered her efforts to prevent youth substance use by joining the Riverhead Youth Coalition. She began working with the coalition after participating in Stony Brook University’s Red Watch Band Peer Education Conference. This conference teaches students how to implement a comprehensive bystander intervention program to prevent death from toxic drinking. Orangielee has also written and recorded Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness of underage drinking and partnered with coalition staff and the Riverhead Police Department to facilitate Medication Take Back Days. She serves as co-chair for the Riverhead Youth Coalition’s BR-INGO fundraiser, an event that raised over $750 to support youth coalition initiatives.
Outside of community work she enjoys baking and cooking different foods for her family as well as traveling.
Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski recently sat down with Orangielee Wilkinson to talk about her experience with the coalition. Here are the highlights:
why did you become involved in the coalition?
“I initially became involved because of the rising use of vapes and electronic cigarettes at Riverhead High School. After joining the coalition, I found that we not only work on reducing vape use among students but we focus on reducing other drug use as well. By joining the coalition, I have an outlet to advise young children, as well as the entire community, about the impact that alcohol and drug use has on your mind and body.”
What is your favorite coalition Activity?
“My favorite coalition activity is writing and recording Public Service Announcements (PSAs). In order to prepare the PSAs, we meet in small groups after school to determine a specific substance use message we want to get out. Then we work on writing a PSA that will address the topic we chose. After we finish writing, we travel to Beach 101.7 to record the final product. In December, we recorded a PSA on the dangers of underage drinking during the holiday season. Although I love PSAs, I am very excited for the BR-INGO fundraiser which might just become my new favorite coalition activity!”
Name Three Words That Best Describe You.
“Ambitious, compassionate, industrious.”
What adventures are still on Your Bucket List?
“I definitely want to spend a summer in Spain to immerse myself into authentic Spanish culture, in order to learn to speak the language fluently.”
Besides Coalition Work, What Else do You Like To DO?
“I enjoy spending time with my family, and being active in the community service and science programs. I enjoy playing outside with my dog Jazzy and making others around me joyful.”
Interested in learning more about coalition membership?
To learn more about joining the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth , contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106 or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.