New congressman meets with local delegation

Published 9:00 am Friday, February 6, 2015

Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, met with representatives from the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services at his Washington, D.C., office on Wednesday.

The coalition was in the nation’s capital to attend the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America national conference. Attendees included Charlette Fornea, Buddy Fornea, Rhonda Gunnell and Pine High School students Jonathan Pierce, Abby Thomas, Fallon Turner, Kirsten Barber and Grace Fornea.

“It’s alway good to meet with visitors from home, especially ones like those from Pine High School and the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services who are working so hard to make their community a better, healthier place,” Abraham said.

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services is one of just six entities in Louisiana that received a $125,000 federally-funded Drug Free Community Grant. The coalition is using the money to reduce alcohol and marijuana abuse rates among youth by implementing community-wide environmental strategies and analyzing the policies and practices of various local agencies and governing bodies.

The coalition is expanding and training other entities and is starting a youth council this year. The Pine High School Youth Council is the pilot school, but Charlette Fornea said the coalition’s goal is to have representatives in every Washington Parish school.