Entertainment events help Asian American youth avoid substance abuse

It looks like they’re on to a great idea – instead of giving lectures about the horrors of illicit drugs, see how the “Asia and Pacific American Community Support and Service Association” is giving kids something creative and fun to do …

Victor Leo stands with strong supporter Siuling Wong, welcoming guests to the Asia and Pacific American Community Support and Service Association event, recently held at the Mt. Scott Community Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When it comes to helping their young people become trapped in a cycle of substance abuse, Asia and Pacific American Community Support and Service Association, headquartered in Woodstock, has created a Substance Abuse Prevention Program that pulls them toward good behavior, instead of pushing them away from bad conduct.

Saying their motto – translated into English – “Is: ‘no drugs’ is true freedom”, Victor Leo, the association’s chair, added, “The purpose of having this program is to educate young people to stay at away from those bad things.”

Cicada Hao Shuchuan demonstrates Chinese painting and lettering.

The Sunflower Dancers entertain at this special event, created to help youths avoid drug abuse.

Leo explained that the January 28th event held at the Mt. Scott Community Center, at S.E. Harold Street at 72nd, was one of many such events the organization holds for Asians and Pacific Americans throughout the greater Portland area.

“I do clinical social work as a substance abuse counselor,” explained Leo. “If we help our young people through prevention, they will not need treatment later. By providing young people with a constructive and positive program like this one – we don’t have to talk and tell them, ‘Hey don’t use drugs!’.”

Younger Sunflower Dancers show they have energy and spirit.

Guests at the “Asia and Pacific American Community Support and Service Association” event at Mt. Scott Community Center enjoy games, crafts, and conversation.

At this particular event, about 200 people dropped in to enjoy snacks, cultural entertainment, crafts, and games provided by volunteers of the association. “We’re all volunteers,” Leo observed. “We have about 20 people pitching in to help put this on, tonight.”

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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