It’s not often that someone finds themselves working in four communities at once but Ryan Barry is up for the challenge as the new youth coordinator for Winthrop, Chelsea, Revere and Saugus under the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC).
As the youth prevention coordinator he works with schools and local organizations to prevent substance use.
Barry, 24, hails from Methuen and is a graduate from UMass-Amherst from which he has a degree in health policy and management and a master’s degree in public health.
“I’m working on building prevention methods for the prevention of youth substance use,” he said, assisting he also assists with programs from organizations like CASA (Community Action for Safe Alternatives).
He’s also been meeting with the various stakeholders in each community through the schools, police, municipal and other groups.
Barry’s position is funded from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Substance Abuse Service. It is a five-year, $100,000 a year, grant for SAPC and Barry makes $61,795. He will be working on community assessments and thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. He plans on running several focus groups. Barry will also work on building relationships, identify strategies for measurable outcomes and create regional collaboration in the four communities.
Two areas he knows he’ll be tackling are vaping and perspectives on marijuana.
He plans on attending a conference in Washington D.C., and attending meetings with Congresswoman Katherine Clarke and Sen. Ed Markey.
“I’ll be sharing what we’re doing and how they can help,” Barry said.