YWCA York gets $32K to discourage underage drinking


A YWCA York program that aims to keep York City teens from trying alcohol received $32,000 in funding Thursday from state officials.

The money will be used to expand the YWCA's Lifeskills program, Jean Treuhart, its executive director, said during a Thursday news conference in front of the YWCA.

Treuhart was joined by state and local officials, as well as a group of students who have been through the program. Each of the students wore T-shirts with the words "underage drinking is a form of not thinking" printed on their backs.

"Whether you know it or not, other students look up to you," Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, told the students.

Ongoing program: This marks the fourth year the local YWCA, 320 E. Market St., has received the grant through the state Liquor Control Board, bringing its allocation over the years to about $75,000, Schreiber said.

Funding for the grants comes from the sale of wine and spirits through state liquor stores, Schreiber said.

The money will be used to train four YWCA staff members and to hire two new part-time tutors for the Lifeskills program, Treuhart said.

The after-school program, offered through the organization's Quantum Opportunities Program, focuses on personal self-management skills, general social skills and drug and alcohol resistance skills.

The Quantum Opportunities Program aims to get students to not only graduate from high school but also pursue higher education. It has a 100-percent success rate, with all students who have taken part in it going on to college, Treuhart said.

"We really believe life skills training reduces alcohol abuse," she said.

The numbers: Just more than 74 percent of 12th-grade students in the state said they've tried alcohol at some point in their lives, according to a 2015 report from the Liquor Control Board.

That's slightly above the 68 percent of students in the same grade nationwide who said they've consumed alcohol, the study shows.

Alcohol use among Pennsylvania 12th-graders has declined since 2001, when roughly 82 percent said they had tried alcohol.

"I'm encouraged by the fact it is going down," Treuhart said.