STL PROUD is a coalition made up of members of the St. Landry Parish Children & Youth Services Planning Board. The coalition includes approximately 20 non-profit organizations, state agencies, local municipal governments, and business which service the needs of children and youth in St. Landry Parish. The Children & Youth Services (CYS) Planning Board has been meeting and planning since 2005. Its major project each year for the Planning Board is the St. Landry Parish Youth B.L.A.S.T. (Boldly Living As Smart Teens) Event for all 7th graders in the parish. This is a gathering of between 1,200 and 1,300 students and over 20 service agencies along with dynamic presenters.
St. Landry Parish has been selected by the Louisiana Partnerships for Success as one of 10 high need parishes in the state to address the priorities of underage drinking, prescription drug misuse/abuse, and depression. In addressing these priorities, the St. Landry Parish Children & Youth Services Planning Board has branded itself as the STL PROUD Coalition. In addition to highlighting the acronym STL PROUD, the intent is to bring a positive presence in addressing the ills of underage drinking and prescription drug misuse/abuse. Rather than the messaging of “don’t do this” and “stop doing that”, the STL PROUD Coalition seeks to build a sense of pride among the targeted age populations to be addressed and hopefully, seeing a sense of pride permeate the whole parish, while addressing the issues underage drinking and prescription drug misuse/abuse. There is the belief that ‘The Power of Change’ is at work in the parish. We are “One parish pulling together to change our future!” This held up in spite of working with the first generation who doesn’t believe their future will be better than the present generation.