Student Leader Fellowship Program members fundraise for local Families Against Narcotics chapter


Ayanna Allen/NW

COMMUNITY RESOURCES – On the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., Families Against Narcotics hosts their monthly meeting with the hopes of providing awareness, education and solutions to substance abuse disorders.

Ayanna Allen, Assistant News Editor

As a part of NMU’s Student Leader Fellowship Program (SLFP), members are expected to complete a 100-hour community service internship. Three members of SLFP, Mandy Bonesteel, Yasmine Phillips and Mo Goss, teamed up to raise funds for Marquette’s Families Against Narcotics (FAN) chapter until the end of November. 

Goss, a junior psychology major, began collecting cans during the summer and had already put 90 hours into the internship by October, Bonesteel said. Phillips, a senior speech, language and hearing science major, and Bonesteel began working in September on marketing, hand collecting donations and social media outreach. 

At the end of November, there will be a large fundraiser where the SLFP members working on the project will take everything they have raised – both can donations and cash proceeds – from the party and give it to FAN. 

“I’m really looking forward to the event at the end, just to get everybody together and [do] a big celebration,” Bonesteel said. 

Bonesteel, a sociology major and senior, said the idea of hosting a fundraiser for FAN came about after the team’s original plan to intern with Superior Housing Solutions fell through.

“We came to this project in a little bit of a roundabout way,” said Bonesteel. “But the ultimate goal is we want to help FAN build the capacity of their organization so that they can help the community.” 

According to the CDC, there have been over 932,000 overdose-related deaths since 1999. In 2020, nearly 75% of overdose deaths were caused by a form of opioids. Out of these opioid-caused deaths, 82% were caused by synthetic opioids, like fentanyl. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that in 2020, 9.5 million people were misusing opioids. 

FAN, according to its website, is a grassroots organization that started in Macomb County, Michigan. It saw a need to offer “community-based, compassionate, best-practice/evidence-based services to people who have been affected by addiction.” 

While the organization provides services for those who have a substance use disorder, it also provides support and education for their families. 

SLFP is a two-year leadership program that is dedicated to “developing competent, ethical and community-centered leaders” via classes, providing a community mentor, the Skill Builder! workshop series, retreats and a 100-hour community service internship. 

Members of the community that are looking to donate either cash or cans to the fundraiser are encouraged to reach out to Bonesteel at [email protected]For those who are struggling with a substance use disorder, there are many ways to find solutions on FAN’s resources and support pages. FAN also hosts a monthly meeting at the Peter White Public Library on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.