Thursday, April 14, 2016

Congratulations UthMpact Class V Graduates

Congratulations UthMpact Class V Graduates!

On Thursday evening, April 7, 2016, UthMpact celebrated graduation for its Fifth Class of High School Student Leaders who successfully completed the 2015-2016 UthMpact Leadership Program. We are extremely proud that nearly 200 students representing every high school in the county have been enriched by this program in its five years in existence.

The UthMpact Leadership Program, spearheaded by InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk Coalition, UthMpact Coalition, and key business partners, is designed to help teens develop crucial leadership skills and entails a two-day summer retreat, six Leadership Days spent traveling throughout the community experiencing the inner workings of local government, healthcare, education, business, volunteerism, and law enforcement, as well as participation in dozens of events and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. The group’s most prominent project has been its social-norms program, now in its 6th year, that has impacted students in area high schools with important messages about bullying, distracted driving, tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drugs.

Congratulations to our UthMpact Class V Graduates:  Alyssa Blythe, Morgan Boles, Ana Brighton, AJ Cadena, Gabrielle Clark, Audrey Cossin, Trenton Curtis, Connor Devore, Alex Fagan, Rebecca Green, Macy Gullifer, Andre Hall, Trevor Hallett, Kayli Higginbotham, Hannah Hogg, Taylor Jackson, Francis Mabito, George Madden, Demetrius Marshall, II,    Megan Martinez, Magdalena Moskal, Sydney Mumbauer, Sadie Owen, Nandan Patel, Victor Persichetti, Colin Phillips, Desmond Richemond, Yatziri Rodriguez, Brandon Rubio, India Saxena, Lyla Saxena, Rachel Swygert, Carlos Torres, Greeshma Venigalla, Anastasia Wall-Lobdell, Taylor Welch, Caleb Willis, and Cole Yrastorza.

The April 7th ceremony also honored graduating seniors from UthMpact classes III, IV, and V:  Bella Basalone, Morgan Boles, Gabrielle Clark, Jared Cossin, Catherine Curran, Emily Dunson, Lindsay Giliam, George Madden, Megan Martinez, Magdalena Moskal, Hadley Owen, Michaela Sawyer, Julia Schindler, James Shiver, Rachel Swygert, Carlos Torres, and Cole Yrastorza.

UthMpact  is proud to congratulate James Shiver and Bella Basalone, two deserving students who each  were awarded $500 UthMpact Scholarships for exemplifying the qualities of leadership within UthMpact and their respective schools and communities. Other special awards presented at the UthMpact ceremony were the “Lasting Impact Award” to Anastasia Wall-Lobdell, for her impactful leadership embodying the mission and future vision of UthMpact, and “Most Community Service Hours” to Desmond Richemond.

Our Community Convenes - May 26, 2016


Our Community Convenes 

at the Polk State Center for Public Safety Auditorium
121 Jim Keene Boulevard in Winter Haven

 Thursday, May 26, 2016

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Sharing data to help our community be safer and better informed

For event information, please call Donna Swygert, StandUP Polk Coordinator at (863) 802-0777

A High-Potency Form of Marijuana “Shatter” Becoming Popular on the East Coast

A High-Potency Form of Marijuana “Shatter” Becoming Popular on the East Coast

According to a recent report aired on Houston TV station ABC-13, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents are seeing an increase in a type of high-potency marijuana known as shatter, wax, or 710. 710 turned upside down, spells oil because it is a concentrated form of marijuana oil.

In its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment, The Drug Enforcement Administration said that marijuana concentrates are growing in popularity and that the drug’s ease of use through portable vaporizers presented new challenges for law enforcement. DEA agents have seized many of the marijuana concentrates over the past year, which are often made by users and hidden in beauty product containers.
Shatter is legal for recreational use in the states of Colorado and Washington, and is also sold in medical marijuana dispensaries in other states, according to The Washington Post newspaper. In December, it was reported that forms of shatter are now starting to appear on East Coast of the United States.

Some varieties of shatter have been found to have as much as 90 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That is about five times the potency of unrefined smoked marijuana, and more powerful than standard hash oil. Shatter is a thin, hard layer that is similar to glass. It can shatter if dropped.

DEA special agent, Wendell Campbell explained that many of the concentrates are made by filtering butane, a highly flammable product, through the marijuana plant. He also commented, “If you’re looking at something that has three, five, seven, or nine percent THC content, that’s a drastic difference to somebody that is consuming something with 80 or 90 percent THC content.”

Recovering addicts report their experiences and effects after experimenting with this new high-potency marijuana as: “You become very incoherent. You can’t really function; you’re just supremely stoned,” said one recovering addict. Another reported, “It just goes straight to your head. It’s like the next level of being high.”

For more information, please visit Partnership for Drug-Free Kids at
Sources:  Join Together, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids at (, WABC-TV Houston (

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Polk County, FL – StandUP Polk, local law enforcement agencies, and event partner GiveWell Community Foundation are proud to join The Drug Enforcement Administration and its national and community partners for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, for citizens to dispose of all unwanted, unneeded, and expired medications in a safe manner.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medication. Many Americans may not be aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Studies show that many are obtained from the home medicine cabinet of family and friends. In addition, many people do not know how to properly dispose of unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

Our community’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will include the following locations in Polk County for citizens to turn in unused, expired, or unwanted Human and Pet Medications, including over the counter medications, vitamins, and other medication in liquid and solid form, for safe and proper disposal. Medications should be placed in a clear, air-tight plastic bag.  

Drop-off locations from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm are:

Auburndale Police Department – 2 Bobby Green Plaza, Auburndale, FL
Davenport Police Department- 16 Bay Street West, Davenport, FL
Haines City Police Department – 35400 Highway 27, Haines City, FL
Lakeland Police Department – 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL
Lake Alfred Police Department – 190 N. Seminole Avenue, Lake Alfred, FL
Lake Hamilton Police Department – 100 Smith Avenue, Lake Hamilton, FL
Lake Wales Police Department - 133 E. Tillman Avenue, Lake Wales, FL
Winter Haven Police Department – 125 N. Lake Silver Drive NW, Winter Haven, FL

Unwanted medications, excluding those in liquid form, may also be taken to the county’s permanent drop site locations at the Police Department locations in Auburndale, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Lakeland and Winter Haven. Medications may be safely disposed of at home by dissolving them in water, mixing with coffee grounds or cat litter, pouring into a zip lock bag, and disposing in the trash. To avoid harming lakes and ground water, please do not dump medications into the toilet.

Previous medication collections held in Polk County since 2010 have resulted in over 6,500 pounds of recovered pharmaceuticals safely disposed of via incineration.  For more information on the local Prescription Drug Take-Back event, please contact StandUP Polk at (863) 802-0777.