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The Dubois County Coalition for Adolescent Resilience and Empowerment Strategies announced on Thursday, November 16th that they are launching an initiative to let adolescents in the county know that they are noticed and appreciated.

The CARES’ mission is to keep youth in Dubois County alcohol- and drug-free with a new project they are calling CARES Kudos.

Kudos is a recognition program whereby members of the community are invited “to give an accolade to a youth who is doing the right thing,” explains CARES Director Candy Neal.

Kudos posters have started going up on public bulletin boards across the county. Residents are encouraged to recognize great teens in the area by filling out a recognition form from a poster and returning it to CARES, or using the QR Code on the poster and filling out a digital form. From there, volunteers will write short congratulatory notes and get those and the original recognition forms to the specific students.

Studies have shown that young people often turn to substances or other negative coping skills when they feel they don’t matter. CARES Kudos is an effort to lead the community in confronting that mindset.

“If you notice a youth doing something positive, CARES Kudos is the way to let that youth know that you noticed,” Neal says.

If you would like a Kudos poster to hang in your workplace, call CARES at 812-827-8464. Posters also are available for pickup at the Clem and Mary Lange YMCA in Ferdinand, Northeast Dubos High School, Southridge High School in Huntingburg, and the Jasper Chamber of Commerce.

“Our youth want to know that adults are paying attention. Just like adults, they want to know that we see them, we hear them and we appreciate them,” Neal says.

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