The NMCS Promotores Program is a volunteer program that trains and engages natural Latinx community leaders who are trusted and embedded in the existing community infrastructure. It is a powerful way to bridge the English- and Spanish-speaking communities.
Promotores serve as connectors between the often monolingual community that they are a part of, to health services and community engagement. While each community and organization shapes the Promotores model to fit their own specific needs and strengths, the Promotores Program in Novato has identified the issue of underage drinking and other drug use while addressing the mental health needs of un/underserved communities as their primary concerns.
By connecting, training, and supporting Promotores to engage in community efforts, they use environmental prevention strategies, policy change, and parent engagement strategies to reduce youth alcohol and marijuana use. Promotores work very closely with the Healthy Novato Initiative to:
· Build on the leadership skills already developed by Promotores so that they may effectively engage in advocacy and education work
· Work with community partners to reduce youth drinking and marijuana use
· Host Cafecitos (coffees in Promotores’ homes) and community presentations with parents and caretakers to discuss underage drinking, marijuana use, social host laws, and actions they can take to reduce/prevent youth substance use
With support from the County of Marin, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Promotores provide emotional support to the Latinx community, meeting face to face or over the phone with peers, friends, neighbors, and other adults to connect them to resources.
"In this program, I have learned to teach parents about marijuana youth use and about my capacity to be a leader."