We believe that the health and wellness of our community is directly dependent on developing opportunities, skills, relationships and values that young people need to be healthy, caring and responsible. Hudson Community First is comprised of a Youth Board, a Volunteer Board, and Advisory Board and the Executive Board.
Jack Lieske, President
Jim Yurak, Treasurer
Alisa Wright, Legal Counsel/Secretary
Fred Gross, Member
Hudson Community First was first conceived by the Hudson City School District in 1995.
The school administrators were observing a pattern of negative student behaviors involving drugs and alcohol. School leaders strove to combat the bad decisions being made by youth and enlisted the business community and organizational leaders to discuss what our community could do to support youth. The district's drug prevention officer researched the country for programs that addressed the issues the district was facing and what he found was the Search Institute in Minnesota.
There, educators had researched and developed 40 Developmental Assets that kids needed to possess in order to grow up healthy and happy and to thrive. Assets are skills, opportunities and self-perceptions that kids need to have. Research shows if kids have 31 of these assets, their outcome is positive and they thrive as young adults and make better life decisions.
Hudson Community First was formed and all staff was trained on the importance of the 40 Developmental Assets. In 2004, Hudson Community First was reignited as a community organization and with a grant from Hudson Community Foundation, co-directors Laura Gasbarro and Cheryl Rauch were hired. Currently, Laura Jones and Jennifer Fisher serve as co-directors of this now vibrant community effort that promotes positive youth development. Today, working with 3 boards with over 250 members, Community First programs cover a variety of topics and support Hudson youth of all ages.