INSPIRING YOUTH TO MAKE POSITIVE LIFE CHOICES
notMYkid was started in 1999 by Debbie and Steve Moak. The non-profit organization was born out of the real life experience of a family dealing with substance abuse. Through the difficult and dark days of addiction, intervention, and recovery, they found that sharing their story was both therapeutic for them and helpful to others in need. The first years of the organization consisted of one family telling their story through home outreach and support.
In April of 2000, notMYkid became an LLC and in November of that same year became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. By 2004, the organization had hired a program director and was being managed by the founding family and the director. The organization struggled with sustainability, but persisted in the belief that there were families who could be helped by their work. notMYkid instituted a volunteer structure, which provided oversight from a governing Board of Directors and a fundraising capacity. In addition, the organization made a strategic decision to build a website intended to provide information and resources to the community. As notMYkid grew, it began to utilize additional speakers to tell their personal stories about overcoming addiction, abuse, and other destructive youth behaviors. Peer Educators created an emotional connection with the community and helped people recognize the need to address these challenges head on.
notMYkid began to partner with school districts to share the message of positive choices and good decision making with middle and high school students. Initially, the organization’s sole focus was substance abuse, but additional issues were identified by schools and other audiences. The organization has since evolved its messaging to include the following youth behaviors: substance abuse, bullying, unhealthy relationships, eating disorders, depression/self-injury, and internet safety. notMYkid recognizes and highlights the interconnectivity of these issues and utilizes messaging to help teens, parents, and educators understand the consequences of these behaviors.
Today, notMYkid continues to flourish. The heart of our organization remains solidly committed to promoting positive life choices by educating youth, families, and communities about the consequences of destructive youth behaviors. As notMYkid continues to move into the future, it is focused on ensuring that all youth, families, and communities have the skills and information necessary to make positive life choices. notMYkid’s passion is for families and communities to be healthy and strong, and to avoid destructive youth behaviors that have the potential to devastate lives and derail futures.