Every Wednesday at 12:48 PM, the clocks scattered around school strike as students aggressively rush out of the classroom doors, satisfied with the feeling of school ending for the day. Most students walk quickly to either end of the campus, waiting for vehicles to take them home from a long, tedious day of learning. Some students stay on campus to attend various community service opportunities as required for graduation here at Oceana. Some even go off campus to commute to schools, community centers, hospitals, and other places where they can lend a helping hand.
For a few students, however, Room 402 is the place to go. These students, who call themselves T-MAC (Teens Making a Change), formerly named Pacifica Partnership, meet almost every Wednesday at 1:00 PM to discuss issues and implement changes in the cities of Pacifica and Daly City concerning teen drug, tobacco, and alcohol use in their communities.
T-MAC is affiliated with the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), a coalition dedicated to improving the local community and fostering youth development.
The students are led by Mary Bier, who has been working with Oceana students and other students in the Jefferson Union High School District since 2005. She was inspired to lead and form relations with students after an extremely unfortunate incident in which her nephew was killed in a car accident a few years ago due to drunk driving.
Because of the previous students’ considerable and tremendous efforts and commitment, Bier and T-MAC passed a Social Host Ordinance in Pacifica.
The ordinance concerns the growing number of house parties and gatherings in Pacifica with teen drinking and alcohol abuse. The owners of the household, assuming that they are the parents of the child hosting the party, will be fined $1000 if the house party is reported to the Pacifica Police Department by members of the community. The household owners are considered the “hosts of the party,” regardless if they previously knew of the party occurring at the residence.
Just last year, T-MAC joined forces with the North County Prevention Partnership (NCPP) to create Be The Change (BTC), a new group formed to proctor the 2013 Youth Access Survey to a district-wide audience.
Gathering information every four years, the Youth Access Survey is given to a sample of students from all five schools (Jefferson, Thornton, Westmoor, Oceana, and Terra Nova) in the Jefferson Union High School District. The survey contains questions and student-friendly queries about the use of ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs) among teenagers, and the influences students believe are behind them.
Working with Bier and the group of students coming together from different schools is Ingrid Mapanao, a volunteer who works with Asian American Recovery Services (AARS), who are also affiliated with BTC.
Currently, T-MAC is working diligently to study and effectively analyze the survey’s results. After a few prospective weeks, BTC will then generate the results to write a report based on the findings. This report will be discussed with local legislation and local law enforcement to suggest, and ultimately help implement, changes that will benefit the communities of Daly City and Pacifica in the future.
If you are interested in T-MAC/BTC and their activities, stop by for an afternoon in Room 402 and you just might be inspired to join them in their mission: to spread awareness about ATOD and improve the lives of others!