November and December 2019 McK-UDOS Newsletter


Illinois Youth Survey

We are still working on recruiting schools to take the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS). The IYS is used to measure our impact in the community. It is designed to gather information about a variety of health and social indicators, including the use of gateway substances and other drugs, violence, bullying, depression, perceptions of school climate, nutrition, and fitness. Registration opened September 2019.  Schools can take the survey from January 2020 – June 2020.  Below are the schools we are hoping to get registered

Network 8 Schools in our area (** signifies they took the IYS in 2018)

  • Elementary Schools
    • Ward Elementary **
    • Thomas Elementary
    • Seward Elementary **
    • Sawyer Elementary
    • Sandoval Elementary
    • Pickard Elementary **
    • Pasteur Elementary
    • Lara Elementary
    • Hedges Elementary
    • Hamline Elementary **
    • Davis Elementary
    • Columbia Explorers **
    • Burroughs Elementary **
    • Brighton Park Elementary **


  • Middle Schools
    • Evergreen Middle School **
    • Hernandez Middle School **
    • Shields Middle School


  • High Schools
    • Back of the Yards High School
    • Curie High School **
    • Gage Park High School
    • Hancock High School
    • Juarez Community Academy
    • Kelly College Prep **
    • Tilden High School **
    • Richards High School


McK-UDOS hosted a town hall at Richards High School on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.  Keith Belton spoke about his own experience with underage drinking and provided insight on how parents can support youth to prevent them from using alcohol and other substances.  

The discussion also continued with the upcoming start of recreational marijuana sales.  Attendees expressed their concerns for how authorities will be enforcing inappropriate public use. 

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. It began as a tribute to fallen DEA special agent Enrique Camerena in 1985.  The McKUDOS Coalition has been working to collaborate with CPS Schools to organize students and parents to take their stance to be drug free. 

Due to the CPS Strike, we were unable to provide presentations at some of the schools. We have rescheduled them and will be providing them after the winter break.  

MAHA 10th Anniversary Gala

The Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) had its 10th anniversary fund raising gala on Saturday, November 16, 2019.


  • The Illinois General Assembly passed a HB 1438 legalizing recreational marijuana use and sale in the state for adults on May 31, 2019. Governor JB Pritzker signed the bill into law on June 25.
    Illinois is the 11th state to legalize marijuana (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Alaska)
  •  When will marijuana be legal in Illinois? January 1, 2020.
  • Who will be able to purchase marijuana legally? Adults aged 21 and over.
  • How much marijuana can be legally purchased or possessed? Up to 30 grams, or about one ounce, of marijuana plant material, edibles totaling no more than 500mg of THC, and five grams of cannabis concentrate products. Non-residents will be able to purchase half those amounts.
  • Who can grow marijuana? Only medical marijuana patients will be able to grow plants at home. They are limited to five plants.
  • Can marijuana be smoked anywhere? Smoking marijuana in public is illegal. Consumption in private residences will be legal. Local jurisdictions will be able to decide for themselves if they allow dispensaries to let people smoke on-site. It will still be illegal to consume cannabis in: Motor vehicles, CTA property including buses and trains, school grounds, restaurants and bar, any public place
  • Officers described a public place as "any place where a person can reasonably be expected to be observed by others such as streets, sidewalks, parks and playground and front porches
  • Who will be selling marijuana? On January 1, existing medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries will begin selling to adults until new licenses are approved. Per the law, the state will begin receiving and processing new licenses on March 15, 2020 and new dispensary licenses will be issued starting on May 1, 2020. Another round of licenses will not be issued until after the state completes a disparity and market study of the industry. The second round of licenses must consider the study's findings.
  • What are the legal ramification for the people in jail for marijuana? The law allows for people convicted of possession of under 30 grams prior to legalization to have their records referred to the Prisoner Review Board and Governor Pritzker for pardon. If the pardon is granted, the Illinois attorney general will move to expunge their records. Those convicted of possession of larger amounts can petition for expungement themselves. Local state's attorneys can also pursue expungements on a case by case basis.
    • Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx has stated her office will expunge all misdemeanor marijuana convictions once it becomes legal on January 1, 2020. She also said the State's Attorney's Office is currently looking at its policy on prosecuting people who have been detained for selling marijuana once it becomes legal in the state.


The new McK-UDOS website is up.  Go and check it out

- We presented at the parent meetings at Brighton Park Elementary School and Davis Elementary School.

Please let us know if you are interested in presentations for students or parents in English, Spanish and Chinese. 

  1. Parents
    1. How to talk to you children about drugs (Eng, Span, Chin)
    2. Hidden in Plain Sight (Eng, Span, Chin)
    3. Dangers of E-cigarettes (Eng, Span, Chin)
    4. Marijuana legalization (Eng, Span, Chin)
    5. Parenting your adolescent to adulthood (Eng, Span, Chin)
    6. Depression and Self Harm (Eng, Span)
    7. Mental Health 101 (Eng, Span)
    8. Stress Management for parents (Eng, Span)
    9. Anxiety and Depression (Eng, Span)
    10. Understanding Anger (Eng, Span)
    11. Domestic Violence and the effects on children (Eng, Span)
    12. Trauma and Children (Eng, Span)
  2. Youth
    1. The dangers of drugs and how to make healthy choices 
    2. What do you see happening at home and in your community?
    3. Dangers of e-cigarettes
    4. Illinois Liquor Control Commission
    5. Drug Enforcement Administration
    6. Suicide Prevention for Youth

We continue to work on improving our social media presence.  With the volunteer/interns we have had in the last semester, we have able to be more consistent in our postings.  Please follow us on Twitter  @McKUDOS_chi and Facebook @mckudoscoalition

Internship/Volunteer Position

The Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) has an opening internship for a part-time or full-time intern / volunteer for the McKinley Park Underage Drinking and Other Substance (McKUDOS) Prevention Coalition to begin immediately.

Coalition’s Goal: McK-UDOS is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program. The coalition’s goal is to prevent and reduce alcohol and marijuana use among youth in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood.

Typical Duties:

  •  Assist in expanding, sustaining, and coordinating a multi-sector coalition in McKinley Park by reaching out to schools, churches and local community organizations.
  • Attend meetings with social service agencies, law enforcement, schools, community-based organizations
  • Write articles to promote coalition prevention efforts and activities to be published on Chicago Tribune’s Community Contributors page, local ethnic newspapers, social media channels.
  • Manage social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook.
  • Assist the coalition in planning prevention activities to meet the aims and objectives of the coalition.
  • Assist in distributing campaign materials (posters, flyers, and brochures) to schools, parents, and community members at events and meetings
  • Communicate /present Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) results and other data related to underage drinking and marijuana use in McKinley Park to public health officials, coalition members, local community leaders, school administrators and teachers, and parents
  • Prepare briefs, reports, policy statements, presentations, and other materials as needed.
  • Carry out project-related administrative responsibilities and perform other duties as required.


Education: Must be enrolled in university at undergraduate or graduate level, studying public health, journalism, communications, marketing, global health, education, social work or other equivalent equivalent field preferred. Or have a Bachelor’s degree in the above mentioned studies.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Experience in journalistic writing and social media.
  • Knowledge and professional experience in substance abuse or related fields preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, comfortable with public speaking and presentations.
  • Flexible working hours with the ability to work independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Demonstrated cultural competence and professionalism in the workplace.
  • Experience with Latino and Asian community highly desirable
  • Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin, speaker highly preferred

Salary Range: This is an unpaid position and can be paired with school credit.  If interested, please email a resume with a cover letter to:

Vernalynne De La Rosa
Program Coordinator
Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA)
230 W. Cermak, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60616
Tel: 312-225-8708

Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 12:00pm  - 1:30pm
Midwest Asian Health Association
230 W Cermak Road, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 

Please let us know if you have any announcements you would like us to provide for our next meeting and newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.