HERE Now, a North San Diego County program designed to combat teen suicide, was honored Feb. 24 with the eighth annual Peacemaker Award from the Rotary Club of Carlsbad.


HERE Now is a collaborative program led by the nonprofit North County Lifeline in partnership with San Diego Youth Services, South Bay Community Services, and San Diego County school districts. The program is focused on teen suicide prevention.

The Peacemaker Award was established by the Rotary Club of Carlsbad in 2015 and is given annually to a local organization that promotes peace and understanding by improving people’s lives and empowering them to succeed. This is in line with Rotary International’s recognition of peace and conflict resolution in the month of February.

Past recipients include Brother Benno’s, an Oceanside organization that provides food and other services to the homeless; the Jacob Cushman San Diego Food Bank, which provides food for the hungry; and the Women’s Resource Center, which provides shelter and assistant to victims of domestic violence.

The HERE Now program, which stands for Helping, Engaging, Reconnecting, and Educating Now, provides counseling and other support to teens. Over the past year, HERE Now served nearly 10,000 students in North County middle and high schools through suicide prevention and early intervention presentations. Of those students who were assessed to have thoughts of suicide and at-risk behaviors, 100% of their parents/families were contacted and the youth and their families were connected with services in the community.

“Strong communities able to flourish and focus on service to others must include support and care to the communities’ youth,” says Malena Bennett, Peace Committee Chair of the Rotary Club of Carlsbad, “Already staggering teen suicide rates have escalated dramatically during the pandemic. Helping to provide peace within the lives and minds of our teens, especially during this time, will carry profound impact.”

The award includes a plaque and a monetary donation. Accepting the award will be Katrinna Reyes, Program Manager of HERE Now and Donald Stump, CEO of North County Lifeline. In addition, HERE Now will be a beneficiary of the second annual Rotary Club of Carlsbad Golf Tournament, which will be held June 10 at St. Mark Golf Club in San Marcos, California. Last year the inaugural golf tournament raised more than $10,000 for Project LIFE, a project of North County Lifeline.

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