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In September 1995, results of a Western Michigan University drug use survey revealed above national averages in nearly every category of drug and alcohol use by Clarkston High School students. Father Robert Humitz, of St. Daniel Church, sounded a rallying call to the community--"What can we do to help our youth?"  30-40 community leaders from various community sectors gathered to educate themselves, brainstorm, raise awareness, and break through the age-old problem of community denial. An organization - the Clarkston Coalition for Youth--was born.      

In April 1997, seed-money funding became available through Oakland County Health Division -Office of Substance Abuse for community coalition groups addressing substance abuse issues at the grass-roots level. The coalition became associated with community coalitions movement and similar groups in 4,000 communities across the nation through CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.)      

Some in the group were particularly drawn to the positive youth development paradigm of the Search Institute's "40 Developmental Assets," which describes 40 positive traits that all young people need to grow up healthy, competent, and caring--and less likely to choose risky behaviors. The "Clarkston Cares" Banquet became and various community sectors who were already building developmental assets in youth. An annual Parent Education Program is also help each fall.      

In June 1998, the Youth Focus Project help discussions at each of the Clarkston Community secondary schools. "Giving Clarkston Youth What They Need to Thrive" was a summary report of this effort. This led to a Town Hall Meeting help in March 1999, organized primarily by youth themselves and called P.A.R.T.Y.-- People Are Relating TO you, during which 140 people-- about half youth, half adults help honest open dialog in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and hope. 

In 2004, the Oakland County Office of Substance Abuse received a grant to create an organization called Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities (ACHC).  The ACHC now funds our Coalition, as well as provides support.