Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention awarded $625K grant

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The Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention (HOP) coalition has been awarded a $625,000 grant from the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, the town announced Monday.

The grant will be distributed over five years, during which time HOP will receive $125,000 in funding annually. At the end of the five years, HOP will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding from the program.

“The Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention coalition is so fortunate to have received this funding, and it could not have been made possible without the hard work of coalition members, including [Hopkinton Youth & Family Services] Director [Dawn] Alcott-Miller,” Town Manager Norman Khumalo said. “I would like to thank everyone involved in the grant process, and I look forward to seeing the positive effects that this funding has on our youth for many years to come.”

HOP was founded by Youth & Family Services in 2015 with the goal of empowering the youth to live a healthy, substance-free life through the provision of resources, education and support.

“This grant funding positions our coalition to better serve the youth in our community, and we are so grateful for it. Over time, grant activities will help prevent substance use before it starts,” said Alcott-Miller. “Research suggests that those who start using substances young are more likely to develop substance use disorders later in life. This funding will help educate teens so that they lead healthy lives from a young age.”

HOP plans to use a portion of the funding to hire a full-time coalition coordinator who will oversee programming, activities and grants.

Additionally, grant funds will be used toward cultural competency and substance prevention training, establishing a middle school prevention group, targeted education for students and parents and more.